Like BBQ, there are many debates down here about Brunswick Stew. Crucial issues to be determined:
- where did it originate – Virginia, Georgia or perhaps somewhere in between?
- beef, chicken, pork, squirrel or rabbit?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.