Get Ready to Bog Down at the Fair
By: Mark Moses
Aside from candy apples, cotton candy and Italian sausage with peppers and onions, fairgoers to the 66th annual Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair will get to sample a long time Robeson County cooking tradition. On Saturday, October 6th, the 18th Annual National Chicken Bog Cook-Off will take place at 5 p.m. with a first place prize of $1,000 and a trophy going to the winner. Second place receives $300.00 and a trophy and $200.00 and a trophy to third.
Thanks to sponsor, Mountaire Farms of North Carolina, the cook-off has gained lots of participation and notoriety over the years. Since the cook-off’s inception, there have been as many as 40 contestants, but usually about 15 each year.
For those not familiar with what a chicken bog is, it’s mainly a mixture of slow-cooked rice, juicy and tender chicken, sometimes sausage is added and spices to add to the flavor. “I have seen bogs with all kinds of unusual ingredients such as red hots, mushrooms, cooked in wine, tomatoes, but judges seem to favor those recipes with just the basic ingredients of chicken and rice, small amounts of sausage, and other basic flavorings,” said Everett Davis, one of the event coordinators. “We always have five very qualified judges, so those selected, as winners, are very deserving.”
Participants are allowed to spruce up their booth and cooking area, but the judging is based solely on recipe only, not their booths. The bog is cooked on site and once the judging is finished and the winner announced; fairgoers may sample , three of the bogs, of their choosing, for a $6 fee. The fee goes to FFA programs in Robeson County.
“This is an event that has been going for years,” said Jean Stewart, an event coordinator. “For some folks, it is an annual tradition to come down and taste the different bogs and for others, it is all about who are named the best chicken bog.”
Registration forms and a complete set of rules can be printed from the Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair’s website – www.robesoncountyfair.com - or by stopping by the Robeson County Cooperative Extension Office, located in the O.P. Owens Building at 455 Caton Road (NC 72W), Lumberton, North Carolina, or at Wilson Automotive on Roberts Avenue in Lumberton. More information can be obtained by calling Everett Davis at (910) 618-6626, or Jean Stewart at (910) 536-2073.
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