Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stew Weather in June?

As I was rearranging cookbooks, I stopped for a nostalgic trip to Williamsburg. That has been one of our favorite destinations for many years. When we lived nearby, we'd go almost every Sunday. Armed with a blanket and the Washington Post, we'd sit under a tree to read and nap. When we got hungry, we'd head over to Chowning's Tavern (back then one didn't need reservations) for a bowl of Brunswick Stew or Welsh Rarebit.

We are still having cool temperatures that are just right for a bowl of that delicious stew and I had all the ingredients on hand. Traditionally the meat in the stew was whatever the hunting party brought home. It's been awhile since Andrew has been on a hunting party (since never), so I relied on some chicken waiting in the freezer.

From The Williamsburg Cookbook

Serves 8 to 10

1 stewing hen (I used two whole breasts)
2 large onions, sliced
2 cups okra, sliced (I omitted)
4 cups fresh or 2 cans (16 oz) tomatoes
2 cups lima beans
3 medium potatoes, diced
4 cups corn cut from the cob or frozen
2 teaspoons salt (check as I found it to be too much)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sugar

Simmer chicken in three quarts water (I used chicken stock) for 30-45 minutes (depends on whether it's bone in). Remove chicken and cover. Add raw vegetables to broth and simmer, uncovered, until beans and potatoes are tender.

Add chicken, boned and diced, and the seasonings.

This is one of those dishes that improves overnight. It is a rule in some tidewater homes never to eat Brunswick Stew the same day it is made.

Whether you follow the rule or not--ENJOY!


  1. Stew would be so welcome right now with our cool and wet Spring. Roll on summer, but I still want to enjoy comforting dishes like this one.

  2. Really, still cool weather? I am already complaining about the heat (sigh). I will be happy to send some warm weather your way.

    A day in Williamsburg sounds like a wonderful way to enjoy a Sunday.

    The stew looks really nice. This can be enjoyed on a Summer evening indoors. Love it.

  3. The stew looks delicious. We've been having cool weather but it will be warming up for the next couple of days big time.

    What a great day you spent your Sunday's. We've been all around Williamsburg but sadly, never there and we actually talked about it last night ~ about how we must visit there. It has to be a magnificent, interesting city with all of its great history.

  4. This looks wonderful - and I so enjoyed reading about your trips to Williamsburg - I've never been there, and it sounds fantastic.
    Have a lovely day today, Bonnie!

  5. The stew looks incredible. We love Williamsburg. I told George that IF we lived closer, I'd love to be one of their volunteers... What a neat place.

    Have a great day, Bonnie.

  6. Your stew looks so good! I'll bet it makes great comfort food. Thanks for sharing.


  7. Oh, this looks yummy! We are soup people and eat it even in hot weather. My husband opens a can every other night as his bedtime snack!

  8. Sounds wonderful... it is so hot and muggy here it is funny to be thinking about stew. But I have to admit... I do cook soups, ect.. in the crock pot during the summer so I don't have to turn on the stove.

  9. It has been way too hot in Texas for stew... but, this looks yummy for the first breath of fall!!

  10. You lived near here? I am from Yorktown, Virginia. I was born in Hampton but graduated from York printing out this recipe which sounds fabulous. Bernideen

  11. My parents are both from Virginia, and my Dad used to buy Mrs. Fernow's Chicken Brunswick stew in a bright yellow can.

    When my parents moved to Chicago in 1965, no more canned stew! He came up with his version of it, and its absolutely delicious. I searched my blog and while I talk about re-heating it, I realized I've never posted the recipe!

    I'll have to email it to you - mine doesn't have okra in it either.

    I can eat soups or stews all year long!

  12. I was born in Williamsburg, and have traveled all over Hampton and Newport News, as well as Busch Gardens...but it's been YEARS! I love Brunswick stew, so thanks for posting a recipe I can use...didn't know about the "rule"...where does it come from?

  13. Ha! It's 97 degrees here today! However, we do have the occasional rainy day, and this sounds like just the thing.

  14. I stew all year long, regardless of the weather...LOL

    Looks delicious.

  15. I love brunswick stew!! It is still quite chilly over here as well! I had lunch at Chez Panisse today :) It was so yummy!

  16. I totally agree with your rule; I would wait to savor it the next day.

  17. It certainly looks delicious, and fun to have the memories to go with it. Have a wonderful weekend.

  18. I posted the stew I made - on my blog today with a link here! Thanks so much!


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