Brunswick Stew

BRUNSWICK STEW – 8 servings

For some good eating, prepare a pot of Brunswick Stew in advance for a tail-gate party or after-the-game festivities.  Reheat just before serving.  If the stew is to be transported to a tail-gate party, it can be reheated over a charcoal fire in a portable charcoal grill.

  • 2 to 3 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces,
    •   or 1 to 2 tablespoons bacon drippings or butter (see note)
  • 2 (2 ½ to 3 -pound) fryer/broiler chickens, or 1 (4 ½ to 5-pound) turkey breast,
    •    or 1 (4 ½ to 5-pound)rabbit, cut into serving pieces, or 3 to 4 chicken breasts,
    •    or about 2 to 2½ pounds boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 quarts hot water

Bouquet Garni (see note)

  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper or to taste
  • 8 ounces cubed lean fully-cooked smoked ham (may use Smithfield-style ham, if desired)
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce can chicken broth, undiluted
  • 4 cups diced peeled fresh tomatoes, or 2 (14½ to 16-ounce) cans, undrained
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 to 3 cups fresh or thawed frozen Lima beans
  • 1½ cups thinly sliced peeled onion
  • 2 to 3 cups fresh whole-kernel corn, cut from cob,
    •   or thawed frozen or drained canned whole-kernel corn
  • 1 cup sliced fresh or frozen  okra (optional)

Saute bacon pieces until just crisp or melt bacon drippings or butter in a large heavy Dutch oven or pot and brown chicken or turkey or rabbit evenly on all sides over moderate heat.  Add water, Bouquet Garni, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper; cover and simmer for 2 hours.  Add ham, cover, and continue cooking for 30 minutes, or until meat is tender.  Remove chicken or turkey or rabbit and remove skin; cut meat from bones and set aside.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, and onion to stock.  Simmer, covered, until vegetables are almost tender, then add meat, corn, and okra, if desired.  Heat for 10 minutes and serve immediately in mugs or flat soup bowls.

Note: May omit bacon or bacon drippings or butter, if desired; liberally coat Dutch oven with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray.

Note: To make Bouquet Garni, tie together with string, 2 to 3 sprigs each of fresh parsley, sage, thyme, and marjoram.  Place in stock pot; remove before serving.

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