Brunswick Stew

Brunswick stew is a traditional dish, popular in the American South, and usually associated with squirrel meat. However, squirrel meat is not so easy to come by in Manchester, so I used chicken instead! It’s believed this dish was invented in the early 19th century by a plantation cook named Danny Mears.

I’ve adapted this recipe from a book called One Pot by Marks and Spencer. It freezes well, so make a huge pot and store in separate containers, to be used within three months.

Serves 6

1.8kg / 4 lb chicken pieces (thighs or breast)
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
25g /  1 oz butter (use ghee if you’re paleo)
2 brown onions, chopped
2 peppers, deseeded and sliced horizontally (I used one yellow and one orange pepper)
400g tin chopped tomatoes
225 ml / 8 fl oz dry white wine
450 ml / 16 fl oz chicken stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp Tabasco sauce
Handful of chopped fresh parsley
325g / 11½ oz tin sweetcorn kernels, drained
425g / 15 oz tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp plain flour (I used gluten-free)
2 tbsp water
Fresh parsley sprigs, to garnish

1. Season the chicken pieces with salt and dust with the paprika.


2. Heat the oil and butter in either a flameproof casserole or large saucepan with lid. Add the chicken pieces and cook over a medium heat, turning, for 10-15 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.

3. Add the onion and peppers to the casserole. Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomatoes, wine, stock, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and parsley and bring to the boil, stirring. Return the chicken to the casserole, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.


4. Add the sweetcorn and beans to the casserole, partially re-cover and simmer for a further 30 minutes.


5. Place the flour and water in a small bowl and mix to make a paste. Stir a ladleful of the cooking liquid into the paste, then stir it into the stew. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Serve, garnished with parsley.


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