When I came home on Thursday night, Jeff had beaten me home and had already stopped at the supermarket. "What's for dinner?", I asked. He handed me a copy of a recipe from Tasting Table called Brunswick Stew. As I read the ingredients, I thought...WOW, this looks delicious...bacon, chicken, corn, green beans, barbecue sauce. Yes, extremely delicious. It had been 10 degrees all week (in New England) and comfort food is the best way to end a bone-chilling day.
Jeff has belonged to Tasting Table for the past few years and gets recipes once a day. If the recipe looks interesting, he prints it and brings it home. This recipe comes from Chef Suzanne Vizethann of Buttermilk Kitchen, located in Atlanta, GA. Brunswick Stew is a southern staple and I can completely understand why. This recipe is hearty and it has heat, but sweet heat with a real smokiness.
I was saying to Jeff that it reminded me of a "chili" style of stew. The density of the vegetables reminded me of beans. The bacon and barbecue sauce brought depth to the dish and the heat finished that "chili" feeling.
My friend, Lucille, stopped by the following day for lunch and enjoyed a bowl of Brunswick Stew with me. It's so funny how you start talking about how good it is and how members of your family would enjoy this dish. Lucille was saying, "My son would love this..." and I was repeating with, "If my sons, Brian and Michael were home, they'd be enjoying seconds." I'm not sure if it's the mother in us wanting to feed our families delicious dishes or the foodie in us that wants others to enjoy these dishes with us. I guess it's really about breaking bread with friends and family.
The Super Bowl is next weekend and if you are looking for a hearty dish to serve to your football fans, put this Brunswick Stew on your list, there won't be a disappointed fan in the room.
Ingredients for Brunswick Stew (Adapted from Suzanne Vizethann, Buttermilk Kitchen)
1 pound of thick-cut bacon, we used applewood smoked, cut into ½-inch pieces
1/2 cup of butter
1 medium sweet onion (Vidalia), chopped into 1/4 pieces
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
3/4 cup of barbecue sauce, we used Jack Daniels, Original #7
3/4 pound of rotisserie cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 cup of crushed canned tomatoes
3 cups of fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 cups of frozen butter beans or lima beans, we used lima beans
3 cups of chicken broth
1. In a large skillet set over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy, 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Pour off the fat from the pan and transfer the bacon to a bowl.
3. Add the butter to the skillet; once melted, add the onion and garlic.
4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 15 minutes.
5. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and simmer for 5 minutes, until the onions are glossy and the spoon leaves a trail when run across the bottom of the pan.
6. Add the barbecue sauce, the reserved bacon and the cooked chicken and stir to combine.
7. Stir in the tomatoes, corn and butter beans. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer.
8. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the stew for 20 minutes. Season to taste.
Divide into bowls and serve. Enjoy with a big piece of corn bread. This recipe serves 8.
Written by Tricia White