|Dinner Last Night - Homemade Brunswick Stew with Smoked Chicken|
Brunswick Stew is a an east coast (mostly southern) dish. There are a lot of different stories about how it got started. Most say that Brunswick Stew originally had squirrel and any other meat available and a hodge podge of vegetables tossed in (just depending on what was on hand). The stew was made in huge black pots over wood fires and stirred with big paddles.
Today the stew usually has chicken and/or pork butt or pork shoulder and often smoked meat. The common vegetables are tomatoes, corn, lima beans, and potatoes. There are, however, a lot of variations. I've never tasted two Brunswick Stews that tasted the same (or had exactly the same ingredients).
I decided to start my stew off with smoked chicken, since I have a new smoker that I've been playing with. I seasoned the chicken breasts with Jake's Righteous Rubs from the Clever Hen (a space that sells wonderful grilling gift baskets with your picks of items - and kitchen baskets too) and some butter (for extra moisture).
|Getting the Chicken in the Smoker with My Super Glove|
After the chicken was done at 165 degrees - the recommended safe temperature for chicken, I began putting my Brunswick Stew together.
|Pouring in the Ingredients for the Brunswick Stew|
The stew can be done outside as in the old days or with a gas blower stool (whatever that thing is called). Since it was in the 90s outside, I decided to do my stew (other than the chicken) inside on the stove.
How to Make Brunswick Stew
1. Cook, grill, or smoke your meat. I used five quite large chicken breasts. Then, I let it cool and shredded the chicken.
2. Put about 4 to 6 cups of broth or water or a combination in a large pot. I think mine was a 12 quart pot, and it was about half full. I used water, because I forget to get broth. If you cook the chicken inside, you can use the broth where you boil the chicken. Just skim off some of the fat.
3. I peeled and cut up six medium sized potatoes in bite sized chunks and put those in the water.
4. Next I added two can of petite cut tomatoes. The size was around 14 ounces per can. Then I topped that off with a little can of tomato soup (5 ounces) just because I had it and don't ever eat tomato soup. One of the boys must have stuck that in my cabinet.
5. After that I added 3 cans of small lima beans and 2 cans of corn (the dry kind in kernals). These cans were all standard in that 14 ounce range. The IGA here does not carry bigger cans.
6. The last thing I did was season. I added salt, pepper, black sea salt, Lowry's seasoning salt, and a bay leaf. I also splashed in a few drops of Cholula hot sauce. I probably went a teaspoon or less on the sprinkle seasonings, and my son said I could have gone heavier on the seasonings. People can always add those at the table though. If food is over-seasoned, there's not much you can do about that.
I set the temperature between low and medium. Stoves vary. You just want a slow simmer and no boiling or the foods kind of turn to mush.
The pot of stew was on for around three hours - long enough for me to be starving with smelling that wonderful smell of Brunswick Stew.
|Oh Boy. The Brunswick Stew is Ready to Eat.|
|Couldn't Find my Bowls with Tops but CoverMate Stretch Covers Had Me (or Really the Stew) Covered|
Where my containers go, I do not know. Probably the same place my tools go. I think I'm down to just a screwdriver and a hammer.
Fortunately I remembered that I had CoverMates in the drawer. They stretch and bend to fit most any size or shape bowl. They can be used in the microwave and can also be washed and used again.
I packed up the Brunswick Stew with these handy bowl covers and made my deliveries. Of course, I still have stew left, so I'm set for a couple of days on dinners.
If you decide to make Brunswick Stew, remember that this is a very forgiving and versatile recipe. You can use various meats and vegetables. I'm sure you could scale down the amounts as well, although I've never in my life seen a small batch of Brunswick Stew. It's just too yummy to make a tiny little pot of it.
Here are the gloves that I'm using with the smoker. They are really nice. I use them indoors and also outdoors. They will take heat up to 662 degrees F.