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Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew

Like BBQ, there are many debates down here about Brunswick Stew.  Crucial issues to be determined:

  1. where did it originate – Virginia, Georgia or perhaps somewhere in between?
  2. beef, chicken, pork, squirrel or rabbit?
  3. bean?  no beans?

These questions are too critical and complicated to be answered here, but I will share my current version.  I use chicken and beans and potatoes – it’s really more like a soup, but I like it and it’s very comforting on a cold wet day here in North Carolina.  Make a big pot and enjoy with some cornbread this weekend!

How Nutritious is Brunswick Stew?

  • Chicken is a good source of lean protein.
  • Tomatoes (especially cooked tomatoes!) provide lycopene (a powerful antioxidant that reduces cancer risks)
  • Corn, lima beans and onions provide additional nutrients and lots of fiber.

Ingredients for Brunswick Stew

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1/4 pound bacon, chopped (optional but it’s good and there’s not a lot!)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (homemade or low sodium)
  • 1 medium to large onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2-3 large potatoes , scrubbed and diced (use your favorites)
  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen lima beans
  • 1 16-ounce frozen corn
  • 1 15 ounce can tomatoes (whole peeled in water and chopped or diced)
  • 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste (use tabasco, sambal oelek or other favorite hot sauce)

Method for Brunswick Stew

  • Cook the chicken, shred the meat and prepare the stock (you will have more than enough so reserve extra stock for future use – freezes well).  This can be done in advance so that stock can chill, making it easy to degrease.

cooking the chicken     remove from hot water and allow to cool     shred meat     strain and chill stock, then remove fat

  • After the chicken is shredded and the stock is ready, assemble additional ingredients.


  • Heat a large heavy-bottomed, lidded pot to medium high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the bacon.  Cook until bacon is crisp and grease has been rendered.  Remove all but 1-2 tablespoons oil.
  • Add onions, celery and carrots and sauté until onions are soft.


  • Add stock, chopped tomatoes with juice, paste, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a low simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.  Add corn, potatoes, corn and lima beans.  Cover and simmer at low heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until potatoes are tender.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, more Worcestershire and hot sauce.  Enjoy.

P1020471     P1020473     P1020475


  • Bacon is not essential if you are curbing fat and calories – but it taste good if you’re up for it.
  • Stew freezes well
  •  It gets better after a day or 2 i n the refrigerator!

Bon Appetit Y’all.

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