Brunswick Stew

image_1I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic lately. That, mixed with missing my family, has me wanting childhood favorites, particularly in the form of comfort food.

So when I came across a recipe for a Brunswick Stew similar to what my Granny made often during my childhood, I had to try it.

Of course, this recipe wasn’t exactly like hers. I’d have to replace the pork shoulder with chicken, remove most of the barbecue sauce and omit the sugar. (Later, when I told her about the sugar in the recipe, she laughed at how sweet it would make this savory dish.)

Before I bought the ingredients I called my Granny to talk about how she makes Brunswick stew, and was surprised to find it was quite different from the recipe I found. Beyond the different meat and less sweet stuff, she also uses canned veggies rather than frozen, whatever potatoes she has on hand (generally, Russet) rather than strictly sticking to red potatoes and more of said potatoes, plus a clove of garlic if she has it on hand. She also cooks hers stove-top instead of in a slow cooker.

I love my Granny’s recipe, but there were parts of the new recipe I really liked and wanted to try too. So I decided a mix of the two would yield the stew I was craving. I decided to take her advice on the meat, the sugar (or lack thereof), the barbecue sauce, the potatoes and the garlic. But I decided to stick with the recipe I found when it suggests using a slow cooker and frozen veggies.

I’ll tell you what: this was a really good plan. It didn’t take long to prepare, and Josh loved it. It was so nice to come home to dinner already cooking, and Josh didn’t have to do anything more than make sure it didn’t burn.

The cool thing about this recipe is I can change it up a little every time. If I’m not feeling like eating starches (yea, right), I can use less potatoes and sub in more veggies. Or I can use different veggies if I prefer. And if I don’t have frozen veggies, I can use canned vegetables instead. (I had to do this for the corn this time.)

It yielded a lot more stew than I anticipated, but that was okay because this was a meal Josh didn’t mind eating again and again. And that makes me a happy girl. (Almost as happy as my cute recipe cards make me; thanks, Dad!)


Oh! You know what this would be good with? My uncle’s skillet-fried cornbread. Gosh, I need that recipe.

Slow Cooked Brunswick Stew:

Active Time: Approximately 10 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours
Serves: 8-10


  • 2.5-3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1.5-inch strips
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 4 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbs. barbecue sauce
  • 14 oz. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 9 oz. frozen lima beans (or canned, drained)
  • 15.25 oz. canned whole kernel corn, drained (or frozen)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

What To Do: Cut chicken into 1.5-inch strips. Stir all other ingredients together in 6-quart slow cooker (a 5-quart slow cooker will probably be fine too). Place chicken on top ( I tried to put it in a single layer, but there was a little too much chicken for that). Cook for 8 hours on low. Once it has finished cooking, shred the chicken (I removed it with a slotted spoon to do this, but the chicken was so tender you may be able to pull it apart with a spoon in the slow cooker). If you removed the chicken from the slow cooker for shredding, return to slow cooker and stir. Serve while hot.

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