Brunswick Stew
Recipe from "The South: The Beautiful Cookbook:
authentic recipes from the American South,"

HarperCollins © 1996

Southerners love to debate the origins of Brunswick stew. Virginia,Georgia and North Carolina all claim to be its birthplace, but the truth most likely is that it originated with Native Americans. The first stews of early America contained all sorts of wild game. Some cooks still say it isn't Brunswick Stew unless it has squirrel. This tamer, more soup like version relies on chicken and a variety of vegetables some stewmakers would find unnecessary. That's okay; it wouldn't be Brunswick Stew without a debate.
  • 1 stewing hen, about 6 lb (3kg)
  • 4 qt (4 l) chicken stock (see glossary)
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 lb (1kg) boiling potatoes, cut into 1/2 in (12mm) dice
  • 1 lb (500 g) yellow onions, coarsely chopped
  • 6 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups (15oz/470 g) fresh or frozen lima beans
  • 2 1/2 cups ( 15 oz/470 g) fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 green bell peppers (capsicums), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • thinly sliced green (spring) onions for garnish
In a large, heavy non reactive pot over medium heat, combine the hen, stock and celery. Cover and simmer until the meat pulls away from the bones, 2-3 hours. Remove from the heat. Transfer the chicken to a large heatproof plate and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the skin and meat from the bones.
Discard the skin and bones and cut the meat into 1-in (2.5-cm) dice. Cover the meat and refrigerate until ready to use. Meanwhile, strain the stock through a medium meshed sieve and skim off any foam or surface fat. Return the stock to the pot and set over medium-high heat. Add the sugar, potatoes,onions, tomatoes, lima beans, corn and bell peppers. bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Add the chicken, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded, 45 minutes. Adjust theseasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, transfer the stew to a large soup tureen and garnish
with green onions.

SERVES 12


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