Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Brunswick Stew - Super Yums!

Ok, so last week when we had Gumbo, I realized as I was serving it, that what I really wanted was Brunswick Stew. And not just any Brunswick Stew, but my mother-in-law’s. She makes it a lot for Christmas Day, and we’ve had it other times throughout the year. It’s so good, that I just started craving it. So I turned to Jesse and said, “You know what I really need to do? I need to get Courtney’s recipe for Brunswick Stew.” Jesse immediately responded, “Oh, you mean this?” And whipped the recipe out of our recipe box. OMG, we had it all this time!!!!! I couldn’t believe it! (It was a totally awesome reaction, btw) So I immediately resolved that our next blog entry would be about the stew.

We decided to have the stew on Tuesday. Courtney makes it in the crock pot, so at first I was like, I can just do this in the morning before school. Well, I was subbing at Norcross that day, so that meant I was up at 5:30. The night before I was at a dinner and didn’t get home until 11:30. I require about 8-10 hours of sleep to be fully functional. So needless to say, I decided since I would be home by 2:30, I could just make the Brunswick Stew in the crock pot on high, take a nap, and still have everything ready to eat by about 7:00. Of course nothing ever goes that easy for me.

So obviously the first thing I had to do was get together the ingredients. I did that earlier in the week. Here’s the list of ingredients:

  • 1 (2 to 3 lb chicken)
  • 2 (28 oz) cans of regular crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (16 oz) cans of kernel corn
  • 1 (16 oz) can of creamed corn
  • ¾ can tomato paste
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • salt & pepper
  • celery salt

Yum yums!

So when I went to the store, I didn’t put all of the quantities down that I needed. For the can of crushed tomatoes, I wasn’t sure what the normal size was. I could only find the 28 oz size. I wasn’t sure if that was the size I needed, or if it wasn’t, so I just bought one. I also didn’t know which size can of tomato paste to get, so I got the most common one. Last, I couldn’t remember how much vinegar, so I bought a huge jug of it. For one tablespoon. Oops. Haha. I also realized when I got home from the store, that I needed more ketchup. All of that meant more trips to the store. I stopped on my way home from school and picked up the ketchup, still not realized I needed more of the crushed tomatoes. It wasn’t until I was home and getting all of the ingredients out that I saw I needed 2 28 oz cans. Doh! Back to the store. I made a super quick trip back to the store (good thing Ingles is about 2 miles away and no stops through traffic lights). Finally, I was home, had all the ingredients, and was ready to go.

The first step Courtney has is to boil the chicken until it’s falling off the bone and then to reserve the stock. I had no time for that, so instead I bought chicken breasts. I cut the chicken breasts up a little until Jesse said I probably didn’t need to do that, so I stopped. In hindsight, it would have probably been easy to cube the chicken…more on that later. I then cut up the onion, which I’d had in the freezer since the day before, to help cut down on watery eyes. Once those were done, I dumped those into my crock pot.

Next, I emptied out one can of crushed tomatoes, took one look at the crock pot and thought, crap! This thing may be too small. Not a good thought, but I was holding out hope. The recipe says 6-10 servings, and I’ve made 6-10 servings of recipes in the crock pot before. Jesse told me it was too small. But I stubbornly refused to listen and poured in the other can of crushed tomatoes and one can of corn. Yeah, it almost overflowed. Now what do I do??? At this point it was all I could do not to tell Sarah “I told you so” but I think I did anyway…

I called my mom. J She has some crock pots and I couldn’t remember if they were bigger than mine or not, so I asked her if I could run to her house and check them out and maybe borrow one. She said sure. Jesse volunteered to go with me, but when we got there, we noticed they were the same size. But what she does have, are some huge stock pots, so we took one of those instead. When we got home, we transferred the food from the crock pot to the stock pot. I then poured in the rest of the ingredients, we put this on the stove and turned it on to a medium-low temperature.

I had to nap, so Jesse kindly agreed to stir the stew and reduce the heat to low. If you do this on a crock pot, you only need about 2-3 hours on high (if the chicken is not already cooked, less if it is) and 5-6 on low (once again, less if the chicken is cooked). Just cook until the chicken is done. If you feel like it is too thick, add some chicken stock. Pretty soon, it’s done. since it usually shreds better when cooking in the crockpot (since it cooks so long), we now had to worry about the giant pieces of chicken that we had. After it cooked for a while, I fished the chicken chunks/breasts out, manually shredded them with some forks, and put them back in the pot.

When I woke up from my nap, I noticed this very delicious smell. I was super excited. The stew looked yummy, and I couldn’t wait to eat it. So I promptly took a spoon and dipped it in the stew. I did not have the patience to wait for it to cool, and immediately burned my tongue. Oops. Finally Jesse and I served ourselves and sat down to eat. Here’s Jesse’s plate. He has to eat this with saltine crackers. I just had a few yeast rolls.

Note: Since this time we made this (first week of April) we have since made it two other times. Halfing the recipe fits perfectly into our crockpot. But it's just as good the other times around. Love it!!!!



Preparation: 5 out of 5. This was easy (once I had all of the ingredients). The hardest thing was chopping up the onion. It would have been even easier if I had been able to make this in the crock pot because then we wouldn’t really have had to stir it too much. Next time we may just make half a serving. Or, if anyone needs any gift ideas, a large crock pot would be awesome!

Taste: 5 out of 5. Seriously, this is soooooooo good. I could have had this for every meal last week. As it is, we had it for leftovers once, and have the rest frozen.

Pickiness Factor: 4 out of 5. I think this is a pretty good one for picky people. Unless your picky person doesn’t like the ingredients. J


Preparation: 5 out of 5. This was super easy….just put it all in the pot and you’re done! Just make sure your pot is large enough, haha—derp.

Taste: 5 out of 5. This dish has definitely evolved over the years. I started to realize how tasty it had gotten and noticed that I, along with Sarah, would look forward to Courtney (My Step-Mother) making it for special family events. She gave me the recipe a few Christmases ago and this was our first attempt at its recreation. I have to say it was amazing. I added Tabasco to mine for some more spice, and served it with a sleeve of saltine crackers. MmMmMmMmm GOOD!

Cost: 4 out of 5. If you don’t have all of the ingredients, it can kinda be a pain—but even so, it’s all still pretty cheap. After you make this, it stores great in the freezer for one of those rainy day meals when you just don’t feel like cooking.

TOTAL: 4.67

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