By Lynn R. Mitchell
Christmas Eve at our house will include a smorgasbord for family and friends who stop by, everything from seafood to crackers and dips to the goodies we’ve been baking this month. Featured will be Virginia Brunswick stew, a family favorite that is warming on these cold December days.
From the cookbook, Virginia Hospitality: A Book of Recipes From 200 Years of Gracious Entertaining, is the Brunswick Stew recipe I have used for years. As with any cook, I have variations (in parentheses). Stew is best when the flavors are given time to meld together so I will make mine Tuesday for serving on Wednesday. The recipe easily doubles and triples for larger groups. Enjoy!
1 whole chicken, cut up (I use chicken breasts)
1 onion, quartered
2 ribs celery, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
16 ounces white shoepeg corn
10 ounces frozen small butterbeans
1 pound canned tomatoes
2 small potatoes, cubed (I double or triple that amount)
1/3 cup ketchup
2-3 Tablespoons vinegar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1/4 teaspoon marjoram (omit)
2-3 Tablespoons butter
Place chicken in Dutch oven and add enough water to cover well. Add onion, celery, salt, and pepper. Boil until chicken comes off bones easily. Remove chicken to cool and add corn, butterbeans, tomatoes, potatoes, ketchup, and vinegar; cook 2 hours or until tender. Remove chicken from bones or shred chicken breasts and add to vegetables along with Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, marjoram, and butter. Serves 6-8.
Note: Vary amount of water for thick or soupy stew. Add a cube of chicken bouillon after the first or second serving.