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Brunswick Stew



Last week I discovered a recipe for Brunswick Stew in the most recent issue of “Cooking Light.” My mother made a version of the dish when I was a child, and my father particularly loves it. It is a tomato-based stew with meat and vegetables that may include beef, chicken, rabbit, squirrel, corn, okra and some sort of bean in the lima/butterbean category. With Brunswick Stew, as with Burgoo, there is fierce arguments over where the dish originated, and what are the “correct” ingredients. I will not take a stand in the Georgia v. Virginia debate, but this recipe, being made with chicken, definitely leans towards the Virginian.

Since I wanted to share a meal with my parents, cook something healthy and serve something in a bread bowl (because Sam loves a bread bowl) I prepared the stew and bought small, round “Paesano” loaves to hollow out and use as bowls. I served the stew in the oven-warmed bowls, with the “innards” and tops of the loaves on the side to serve as butter-able bread to eat with soup. I did not use low sodium products because that is not as much of a concern for us as is reducing calories. I also quadrupled the hot pepper sauce, but that made for a pretty spicy stew – I’d start with the recommended 1/2 teaspoon and increase until your taste-buds say “yes.”

Brunswick Stew

(Adapted from the October 2007 “Cooking Light”)


  1. Cooking Spray
  2. 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  3. 1/2 cup chopped celery
  4. 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  5. 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  6. 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  7. 2 cups chicken broth (recipe calls for fat-free, low-sodium broth)
  8. 2 tablespoons tomato paste (recipe calls for reduced-sodium)
  9. 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  11. 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon)
  12. 1 10 ounce package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  13. 1 10 ounce package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
  14. 6 1 ounce slices Italian bread, toasted or 1 small, round loaf of bread for each diner
  15. 2 garlic cloves, halved (only necessary if you are serving stew with Italian bread rather than bread bowls).

1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add bell pepper, onion and celery to pan cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oil to pan. Combine flour and chicken in a medium bowl (or plastic bag), tossing to coat. Add chicken to pan cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Gradually stir in broth; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste and next 5 ingredients (through lima beans) to pan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.


2. Hollow small round bread loaves, ladle in soup and serve with bowl “top” on the side or rub Italian bread slices with cut sides of garlic; discard garlic and serve bread with stew.


About imagineannie

I feel like I'm fifteen - does that count? I'm lots of things, I get paid to be the Managing Editor for a local news publication, and I love my job. I am also inordinately fond of reading, animals (I have four), elephants, owls, hedgehogs writing, tramping in the woods, cooking India, Ireland, England, avocado toast, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Little Women, Fun Home, Lumber Janes, Fangirl, magic, Neil Gaiman, Jane Austen, YA books, not YA books, classical music, Salinger (OMG SALINGER), Brahms, key lime pie, indie music, podcasts, sleeping in, road trips, marmalade, museums, bookstores, the Oxford comma, BBC, The Miss Fisher Mysteries, birdwatching, seashells, kombucha, and stickers. Not a huge fan of chewing gum, jazz, trucker hats or dystopian and/or post-apolcalyptic fiction (but I'll try anything).

10 responses »

  1. Where’s the squirrel? 🙂

  2. greentuna, the squirrel is sitting on my couch playing with his Xbox. Thanks for coming by!

  3. sounds like autumn… nice! the name sounds so quintessentially american. love that.

  4. It does sound like autumn. Brunswick stew in a bread bowl sounds really homey, too.

    I used to get soup in a little bread bowl for lunch when I worked. I haven’t ever made it myself though. You’ve inspired me.

  5. This looks like a recipe my mum used to make when I was a kid. I had forgotten about it until I read your post.

    I recently stumbled upon your blog while trying to explain Topopo salad to some friends. I’m an expat East Lansingite, It made me a wee bit homesick

  6. Claudia, it is really pretty American in origin, although it would be more authentic if I made it with some protein that I shot my own bad self.

    Jolynna, Sam got obsessed with bread bowls at Panera, and I find that I can get him to eat pretty much anything (other than tofu) if its in a bread bowl. I wish I could make a bread bowl out of cornbread, because I’m thinking chili in a cornbread bowl would be pretty great except that it would dssolve in 5 minutes….

    Plantchick, welcome! You grew up here? I am thinking that there is some Great Britain in your life, either presently or historically, because you refer to your “mum.” Did you get expatriated someplace interesting, at least?!

  7. This is very interesting…I was looking for how to make a cornbread bowl for my chili and stumbled apon someone from my hometown of East Lansing…but that’s not all…I live in Great Britain as well…small world!

  8. MsMarcasite, it is indeed, a small world. I see from your Myspace profile that you are a LOT younger than I am (you were graduating from ELHS when I was opening a law office in Williamston) but we may have similar stomping grounds. If you figure out how to make a cornbread bowl, by the way, I’d love to know!

  9. I didn’t attempt a breadbowl this time, just made a simple loaf. But I will try to have a go at it and will definately tell you how it goes.

    Have you seen the “new” high school. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. I miss the old front. It looks like they are just trying to compete with Okemos’ “Taj M’High”.

    I love Williamston. I had some friends that lived there so I was there some of the time too.

    Ta for now!

  10. Hi, Ms. Marcasite! I will anxiously await your report. It really tastes just fine in a regular, old bowl, as well. I see ELHS every day – we live very near to it. I actually attended Okemos schools, although I went to the old high school there which is now a middle school. All schools are now palaces around here, or striving in that direction. We love Williamston, too. I wanted to buy a house there when we were looking, but E.L. was where we got the best old house for our money, although it means living among the wild undergraduates and their kegs.


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