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Brunswick stew still tasty as ever

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Brunswick stew dates to the early 19th century. At that time, it was made with squirrel or rabbit (whatever you could catch or shoot), stale bread and whatever vegetables and seasonings could be found.


Today, wild game has been replaced (as in most recipes, like the one we're featuring today) with chicken or a combination of chicken, pork and beef. Throughout the years, vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions, lima beans, corn or okra, have been added. Brunswick County, Va., and Brunswick, Ga., are still debating over ownership of this pioneer dish.

Where it was created isn't as important to us as how it tastes -- and it tastes great. Today's version, sent by Jane Bixby Mazur of Sewickley, calls for chicken, bacon and chuck roast stewed with tomatoes, corn, lima beans and onions. We served this robust and hearty dish with a salad and a crusty bread -- and we enjoyed every spoonful.

Brunswick Stew

1 chicken (about 4 pounds), cut up, or 1 whole chicken

  • 4 cups water
  • 4 strips bacon, diced
  • 1/2 pound beef chuck, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1-pound can whole tomatoes
  • 10-ounce package frozen lima beans
  • 12-ounce can corn (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups) (we used frozen)
  • 3 medium potatoes, diced
  • All-purpose flour

    Place chicken and water in a large pot. Bring to boil and cook, covered, for 1 hour or until tender. Remove the chicken, reserving the broth; cool. In another large pot, cook the bacon. Remove the bacon; set aside. In the same pot, cook the beef and onion. Remove skin from chicken and cube or cut in small pieces; add to the pot. Add the bacon, tomatoes, potatoes, salt and paprika. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Add lima beans and corn and cook for another 1/2 hour.

    To thicken the broth, take about 4 tablespoons flour and add enough water to make a thick mixture. Pour into the stew pot and stir. Makes 6 servings.

    Note: We added about 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage to our stew. It gave it a spicy kick. As with most stews, meats and veggies can be changed to suit the cook.


    Barbara Kovacs of Mt. Pleasant is in search of a recipe for barley leek soup: "I hope your readers can help my mother and me locate this recipe. My mom got this recipe from the PG Food section many years ago. She lent it to a friend and did not get it back. We have tried to replicate it, but something always seems to be lacking."

    Vera Orsini of Mt. Lebanon writes: "I have been trying to find a cookie recipe my mother-in-law made. But all I know is that it called for pepper. I have no idea what nationality made it, but I would appreciate a recipe."

    Sally Allen of Walla Walla, Wash., is looking for a doughnut recipe called "logs." The logs are in the shape of a maple bar and have a creamy white fluffy filling. The filling is almost like whipped cream.

    * Writes Anna P. Prosper of DuBois: "Back in Depression days my mother used to make an oatmeal cookie. The recipe was on the box of Mother's Oats. This cookie was light in color, soft and was sort of mounded on top. It had raisins but no nuts or brown sugar. I tried to locate the recipe to no avail. Perhaps one of you older readers can help."

    If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail toaburnett@post-gazette.com . Please include a name, neighborhood/city/borough/township and state and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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