Brunswick Stew

Ah, Brunswick Stew. One of my great food loves.

This stew is either the first or second soup/stew I ever made (not sure if this or one of my potato soups came first), so it holds a special place in my “cookbook heart”. We (Mom and I) started with a recipe when we made this the first few times. And then we lost it. As a result, we/I started winging it. So, this stew resembles the original recipe, at least what I remember of it (I mean, it’s been more than a decade since we first made it) but is my own creation and often varies a little bit each time I make it depending of what I may have on hand…and that’s okay.

This is one of my favorite dishes. And hubby enjoys it a lot, too, even with all the veggies. It’s especially a favorite during the colder months…like now. So, get your pen and paper ready so you, too, can make a delicious dinner for your family to warm them up from the inside out after a long day of playing in the cold. Here’s what you need:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 medium onion, diced (I generally use a sweet onion)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2-28 ounce tomato sauce cans
  • 2-3 cups of chicken broth (you can watch it to see if it gets too thick — but I usually do the 3 cups to start with)
  • 1 large can of baked beans, drained of juice
  • 1/2 bag of frozen hash browns
  • 1 can of carrots, drained of juice
  • 1 can of corn, drained of juice
  • 1 can of green beans, drained of juice
  • 2 tablespoons of basil
  • 2 tablespoons of oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of hot sauce (if you want an extra kick)

What to do:

  • Saute your onion and bell pepper in a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of your stock pot (about 5-7 minutes). Careful not to let them burn.
  • Add the tomato sauce. Mix in.
  • Add chicken broth (or granules and water — no need to pre-melt, they’ll do that without issue as the soup heats). Mix in.
  • Add baked beans. Mix in.
  • Make sure frozen hash browns are broken apart and not in large clumps (a few together is fine, but you want to stay away from large blocks). I usually put the bag on the counter and beat it with my fist. Lady-like, right? Add the hash browns after that. Mix in.
  • Add carrots. Mix in.
  • Add corn. Mix in.
  • Add green beans. Mix in.
  • Add chicken. Mix in.
  • Add the spices, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce. Mix well.
  • Bring to a low boil and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  • Serve with some delicious cheddar and garlic biscuits. (Really. They’re phenomenal.)

It’s a simple soup to make that gives Jon and I plenty of leftovers to enjoy for a few days (and that’s my favorite kind of meal…one for dinner, plus a bonus meal or two). I hope that you and your family will enjoy this. Add veggies that you like, take out what you don’t. Make it your own.

If you want this to be more stewy, keep the tomato sauce level higher. As it sits with the recipe above, it is a great stew consistency. If you want more of a soup than stew, I would recommend only one can of the tomato sauce and more chicken broth.

You can also make this into a 1-pot meal. Cook the chicken in the stock pot first, remove and then cook the rest of your meal. I usually use 2 pots just so I can cook the chicken at the same time as the stew is starting. (By the way, this recipe fits into my 8-quart stock pot…not my 5 quart.)