Monday, November 5, 2012

Gloria's Crock Pot Brunswick Stew

crock pot brunswick stew recipe
There probably are as many variations on Brunswick Stew as there are Southern cooks. Most recipes call for chicken, tomatoes, prepared barbecue sauce or several of its key ingredients (e.g., a little hot sauce or ground pepper, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, etc.) for tang, and two or more of the following: lima beans, corn and okra. Traditionalists will insist that it's not a proper Brunswick stew without squirrel (I kid you not!), and many cooks add pork, venison or other stew meat.

My version of Brunswick stew omits the squirrel and the lima beans, the former because I have no interest in eating squirrel and the latter because Greg hates lima beans almost as passionately as he despises celery (he does like squirrel, however). If you hate okra and like limas, by all means use the lima beans instead of the okra. And feel free to include squirrel meat if you wish.

Because I use Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper instead of ground black pepper, my Brunswick stew delivers a little more tang and zip than some, but without crossing the line into "hot & spicy" territory.

To save time, you can use leftover cooked chicken and saute the onion and bay leaf on their own.

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Oil or bacon fat for browning the chicken
1 small onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt & Pepper for seasoning
2 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth 
2 cups (or 16 oz can) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 6oz can tomato paste
10 oz pkg frozen sliced okra
8 oz pkg frozen corn kernels
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce (I use low sodium)
1 tsp Tabasco sauce, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, OR Bone Suckin' Hiccuppin' Hot Sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper OR 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Brunswick stewHeat the oil or bacon fat in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add bay leaf, chicken and onions. Cook until chicken is browned and onion is softened and translucent. Remove pan from heat and allow chicken to cool for a few minutes, then place chicken on a cutting board and chop into spoon-size chunks. Transfer chicken chunks, cooked onion, bay leaf and all remaining ingredients into crock pot and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for about 4 hours or on low for about 8 hours, stirring only a few times (e.g., two or three times). Makes a lot, and you can refrigerate or freeze leftovers--in fact, the flavors will develop and improve overnight.

Zestfully yours,

PS: This is the answer to the November Crock Pot Game on the Carolina Sauce Facebook page, and the name of the lucky winner will be selected via random drawing from all who commented on our Crock Pot Game post. The winner receives a Prize Pack of FREE sauces and seasonings, which you can see here. If YOU would like to win some free sauces and seasonings, make sure to Like us on Facebook and then play the next Crock Pot Game, to be posted on December 1st.

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