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.”
(Adapted from the October 2007 “Cooking Light”)
- Cooking Spray
- 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cups chicken broth (recipe calls for fat-free, low-sodium broth)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (recipe calls for reduced-sodium)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 10 ounce package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
- 1 10 ounce package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
- 6 1 ounce slices Italian bread, toasted or 1 small, round loaf of bread for each diner
- 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.