I grew up with Brunswick Stew. It’s a chicken stew that probably in its earliest origins was made with the yummy combination of possum, squirrel, groundhog..whatever happened to be passing by. It is thickened with mashed potatoes, has corn and butter beans added. And always, no matter what, if you are making the one, the only Rappahannock River Brunswick Stew, you better put that stick of butter in the pot.
The origins of Brunswick Stew are politely discussed between people who say Brunswick County Virginia is where the recipe originated and the people of Brunswick, Georgia . Maybe politely is putting it mildly. In 1998 the Virginia legislation passed a ruling that Brunswick stew originated in their state.
Georgia did the same.
My mother’s from Virginia. This is the only Brunswick Stew I know.
Thank God she didn’t use possum.
Rappahannock River Brunswick Stew
2-½ to 3 pound chicken, cut up
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups silver queen corn kernels
2 cups butter beans
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 stick butter
2 large Irish potatoes, boil in a pint of water and mashed
Small piece of country ham or lean salt pork
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of sugar
Put chicken in large Dutch oven and cover with water (about 1-½ quarts). Add tomatoes and their juice, sugar, onion and salt pork or ham. When the chicken drops from the bones, cool and remove all bones and sinks, cut up meat fine. Add butter beans, cook until tender, then add mashed potatoes and their water, butter and salt and pepper. Finally add the corn. This is better the second day. Freezes well.
This recipe, of course, is best with fresh produce, but the quality of frozen veggies these days makes it possible to do this recipe year round.