The Unwatched Pot

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Brunswick Stew

From the South comes a dinner worth every minute of its hour-long simmer. It's a classic combination of okra, corn, chicken, and herbs.

Quantity: 4 to 5 servings

Time: Prep, 20 minutes; Cook, 45 to 60 minutes

  • 2 pounds meaty chicken pieces, skinned
  • 2 smoked pork hocks (12 to 16 ounces each)
  • 3 medium onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounce) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
  • 1 package (10-ounce) frozen sliced okra (2 cups)
  • 1 cup frozen baby lima beans
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt (optional)
  • Pepper (optional)

1. In a large pot, combine chicken pieces, pork hocks, onions, undrained tomatoes, chicken broth, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, thyme, the 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and hot pepper sauce. (If desired, brown chicken pieces first in 2 tablespoons cooking oil in the pot; drain off fat. Continue with recipe.)

2. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Remove pork hocks (and chicken, if desired); cool slightly.

3. Cut meat from hocks; chop meat and set aside, discarding bone. (Cut chicken into bite-size pieces, if desired.)

4. Add okra, lima beans, and corn to mixture in pot. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 10 to 15 minutes more or until vegetables are just tender.

5. In a small bowl, stir cold water into all-purpose flour until smooth (or shake together in a screw-top jar). Stir into stew. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir for 1 minute more.

6. Stir in meat from pork hocks (and chicken, if cut up). If desired, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Why is it called Brunswick Stew?

Originally a simple combination of squirrel meat and onions, this much-loved dish is claimed by three different areas of the South. The counties of Brunswick, Virginia, and Brunswick, North Carolina, and the city of Brunswick, Georgia, all take credit for its creation.

The earliest written record of the dish comes from Virginia in 1828 when a state legislator named Dr. Creed Haskins requested it for a political rally.

Over the years, more and more ingredients have been added and the squirrel meat has been omitted.

Continued on page 2:  Ribs with Apples and Sauerkraut