Brunswick stew a perfect meal for slow cooker
January 17, 2013
Photo/Ellen Fox Emerson
After 9 hours in the slow cooker, this stew's chicken fell off the bone very nicely. Add crusty bread and a salad for a hearty winter meal.
Brunswick stew is a Southern dish cooked for a long while, until the meat falls apart and the vegetables get soft.
I first tried it years ago at a hunt breakfast down in Charlottesville. The cooks prepared their stew in a huge black cast-iron cauldron over an open fire, simmering it for hours. There must have been enough to serve 100 people or more.
Basically a vegetable soup — but thicker — Brunswick stew features at least one meat. Long ago, squirrel and/or rabbit filled the bill. But today, chicken and/or beef serve as the most common meats. Lima beans, corn, onions and potatoes round out the key ingredients.
Two places claim to have created the stew: Brunswick, Virginia, and Brunswick County, Georgia. Their stews’ primary difference: Virginia’s first choice of meat is chicken and Georgia’s is beef.
It makes a great meal when cold weather calls for a hearty soup or stew. While I don’t have a cauldron and I’m not feeding 100 people, I made mine in a “slow cooker.” It turned out beautifully.
Brunswick Stew in a slow cooker
2 pounds of split chicken breasts with ribs and skin
1 pound of cubed pork for stew
1 large onion chopped
5 medium red potatoes, quartered
12 ounces of frozen corn
16 ounces of frozen lima beans
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of salt
½ teaspoon of pepper
¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
4 cups of water
Rinse the chicken breasts and put them in the bottom of your slow cooker; then add the pork.
Season with the peppers and salt; then add the rest of the ingredients. The water should just barely cover the ingredients.
Cover with the lid and set the cooker on low for 9 hours. At the end of that period, take the chicken out; remove the skin and bones and shred into bite-sized pieces. Return chicken to the stew and stir.
This goes well a crusty loaf of bread and a green salad.
catchwork2 · January 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm
Fixed this last weekend. Quite yummy and glad to have it during this cold snap.
Buckland · January 18, 2013 at 8:05 am
A friend from Emporia, Va. gave me their recipe. She said they made it in large kettles and then sold it. Their recipe is called Chicken Muddle. I shared it with someone, who then gave me her recipe, which added chili sauce. I guess I'll combine the two, great for a cold day.