Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
I have read conflicting articles about the origin of Brunswick Stew. The most credible seems to be that this stew was originally prepared with squirrel meat and stale bread around the 1800's by an African American cook named Jimmy Matthews. Later it was prepared with rabbit, now it is most often made with chicken. Mmm, perhaps it is true that squirrel tastes very much like chicken.
2-1/2 lbs to 3 lbs chicken, cut into small serving size pieces
4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
3 cups water
3 cups chicken broth, low salt broth is fine
8 plum tomatoes, halved
1 package whole corn
1 package frozen baby lima beans
1-1/2 or 2 finely chopped medium-sized Chile peppers (Poblano or Ancho)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small whole bay leaves
2 tblspns cooking oil
1 tblspn unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Thoroughly dry chicken and season with salt and pepper, then brown lightly over medium-high heat in cooking oil and butter in a large heavy pot with cover. Add minced garlic cloves after chicken has browned and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir garlic to keep from burning.
Add chicken broth, water and whole bay leaves. Bring mixture to a low boil over medium-high heat. Cook uncovered for about 20 minutes. Add chopped onion, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, Chile pepper and lima beans to pot. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until vegetables are done and the chicken is fork tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Serve over 1 to 1-1/2 inch thick crusty bread (Italian bread is good)
For more information about Brunswick Stew see Brunswick County (Virginia) site and New Georgia Encyclopedia. Then make your own decision as to where this interesting dish originated.
Check out The Best Soups & Stews (Best Recipe) at Amazon. I find that cookbooks from the Cook's Illustrated Magazine people are always good.