Every fall, I have a come-to-Jesus moment.
I’ll be driving along, then three words will summon me to the nearest church parking lot.
BRUNSWICK STEW SALE!
Can I get an amen?
Photo via TVNewsBadge
Oh how I love Brunswick stew. It is the taste of fall in the South.
But, Brunswick stew season is fleeting. Because it is such an undertaking to make, most churches and community organizations only cook up one big batch of stew a year.
I’ll buy some cartons for now and some to free. But I never seem to buy enough stew to last me through the winter or through my cravings.
But I have a recipe so I can get my Brunswick stew fix any time of year. And I don’t have to haul out my iron cauldron (as if!) to make it.
Just my Crock-Pot.
Before I share the recipe, a little history about Brunswick Stew, in case you’re from part of the world that has been deprived of this delicacy.
Brunswick Stew is a rich, thick chicken stew chock full of vegetables — potatoes, lima beans, corn, stewed tomatoes and green beans, if you’re from my neck of the woods. The taste is somewhere between spicy and sweet; I’ll call it tangy.
Traditionally, Brunswick Stew is cooked in a large iron pot over an open flame. The stew is cooked slow and low, allowed to simmer for hours before it is served.
Now, here in the South, we love a food fight. So, there’s some disagreement over the exact origins of Brunswick Stew. Some say it originated in the early 1800s in Brunswick County, Virginia. But Brunswick, Georgia, also lays claim to the delicacy.
You’ll also find regional differences in recipes. Some versions use only chicken, while others incorporate squirrel meat, pork and rabbit. I’m pretty sure I only like the chicken version, and I’m pretty sure that’s what most churches serve.
My version, which I adapted from a Cooking Light recipe, uses only chicken. I prefer my Brunswick Stew what we call “Eastern Style,” as in the style served at barbecue restaurants in the Eastern part of the state. So, I add potatoes, green beans and lima beans to mine.
The original recipe is light, and I don’t think my additions would change the calorie or fat content significantly. A bowl of this is still better for you than a cheeseburger. Or a plate of barbecue.
Easy Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew
Place chopped onion in the bottom of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker and top with chicken.
Add corn and the remaining ingredients, stirring well.
Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.
Reduce heat to low setting and cook for 6 hours or until chicken is tender.
Remove chicken, shred and return to the stew.
Serve with Saltine crackers to get the true Southern Brunswick Stew experience.
Doesn’t that Brunswick Stew look yummy in the slow cooker?
Of course, it looks even better in a bowl.
Don’t forget about the Better Late Than Never Christmas Inspirations linky party coming up next week.