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Recipes for empty nesters: Brunswick stew

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Where did Brunswick stew originate? Like many things, it depends upon whom you ask!

Those of us from Virginia believe the first Brunswick stew was made in Brunswick County, Virginia when the cook of a member of the House of Delegates created a special stew for the gentlemen who participated in the Delegate’s hunting expedition.

Not so fast, say residents of Brunswick County, Georgia. They even profess to have the original kettle in which the first stew was made.

Share these stories when serving Brunswick stew made from the following recipe.


  • 1 (3 pound) chicken
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns & 1 bay leaf wrapped in cheesecloth
  • 3 strips of bacon
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 boiling potatoes, diced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained (reserve liquid) & chop tomatoes
  • 1 (10 ounce) box of frozen lima beans
  • 1 (10 ounce) box of frozen corn
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Put chicken and wrapped spices into large stock pot and cover with one inch of water.
  2. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Drain, reserving broth.
  3. Remove and discard chicken skin. Remove meat from bone, shred and reserve.
  4. In clean pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, crumble and reserve.
  5. Use the drippings from the bacon to sauté the onion until soft. When onion is cooked, add broth and potatoes.
  6. When potatoes are partially cooked, add remaining ingredients, bring to boil.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer until frozen vegetables are hot and tender. Adjust seasonings.

4 servings


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