December 10, 2014

Brunswick Stew & Goodbye Lie Diaries

Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida
Present Day

Jane Marie writes: The folks in Brunswick, Georgia say they invented Brunswick Stew although Brunswick County, Virginia claims it was first served at a political rally held there in 1828.  Whichever is correct, this Southern dish is now made with chicken, beef and/or pork (bacon) in lieu of the traditional squirrel.

Breelan Dunnigan, the heroine in my Victorian romantic novel, The Goodbye Lie, makes her mother’s version of Brunswick Stew as the entrée for her first dinner party.  And what a dinner party it turns out to be.  Her stew is a tad different from Miss Ella's and the comments are … kind, sweet, funny, mean?  Once you discover who attended the dinner party, you'll have a good idea of the general sentiment there.

In the meantime, on those cold, harsh days of winter, make a kettle and enjoy!

Jane Marie 
Brunswick Stew
You’ll need:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 pound of ham, cut into cubes
3 1/2 quarts of water
1 large or 2 medium yellow or white onions, chopped
4 cups of fresh or canned tomatoes (with the juice)
4 large potatoes, washed, peeled and cubed
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 cups lima beans
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter or margarine

Place the chicken, ham and onion in a large stew pot, and cover with the water.  

Add a little salt and pepper. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on the stove covered for 2 1/2 hours. Stir once in a while to keep ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 

Add the tomatoes, potatoes, corn and beans, and simmer for another 1½ hours until the beans and potatoes are tender.

Add the butter and serve warm with bread or rolls.

Makes at least 12 servings depending upon the portion size.

Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Breelan Dunnigan writes:  I often think back to that first night
entertaining in my own new home.  I was proud to have done the whole dinner on my own.  The fact that all the food was cooked and put on the table at the proper time was a miracle.  The world is full of miracles if we slow down enough to see them.  I am trying to do that at least once a day.

(Breelan Dunnigan is featured in The Goodbye Lie set on Amelia Island, Florida in 1882. The Goodbye Lie is the first historical novel in the series with the same name, available at Amazon and book sources everywhere as paperback and e-book.)

Brunswick Stew recipe is reprinted from

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