Nephew Stew

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Brunswick Stew doesn’t actually have nephews in it, and thankfully – at least my version – doesn’t have squirrel. In fact that’s what first kept me from attempting to make Brunswick Stew when long ago I was told the main ingredient was squirrel. Darn if my Kroger isn’t always out of fresh squirrel. No really – Brunswick Stew is delicious and the nephew part is because when my nephews went down south to college they both fell in love with it. I’ve made a recipe for Brunswick Stew we like many times, and when a friend asked for that recipe, it occurred to me to experiment with a slow cooker version because that’s how my college-aged nephews like to cook. It’s a pretty great dish for a lot of reasons, it’s easy to assemble, frozen veggies make putting this together in minutes a cinch, and leftovers can be added, like barbeque pork, cooked beef, or chicken. 

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No leftovers – no problem. I start with uncooked chicken breasts and let the slow cooker do the work. There are a lot of different versions for Brunswick Stew, but mostly they all begin with a tomato base- frequently barbeque sauce. That’s where you have to do a little reading – or at least tasting. My guys are quite insistent that this stew should not have a “sweet taste” and a lot of barbeque sauces list sugar as a first ingredient. A vinegar-based sauce is your best bet, but I’ve found that a combo of chili sauce and barbeque sauce is a great way to go if your barbeque sauce is too sweet. If you don’t have both use either one. Worcestershire sauce (which I forgot to put in the picture) adds a little tangy flavor that can turn the whole dish around. The crockpot version starts with a couple of chopped onions. Top that with chicken breasts then add in the rest.  I like to serve it with cornbread (nephews - get one of those mixes or buy pre-made in the frozen bread section) but rice, noodles or all alone is fine. This hearty southern stew with potatoes, corn, tomatoes, and butterbeans is a meal in itself. 

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The chicken is perfect, but I’m a sucker for adding barbequed pork. You can buy that at the grocery too and add it in for the last hour of cooking. I hear a bit of cooked ground beef is nice as well. See what I mean- you can definitely put a few leftovers to good use and put your own stamp on this yummy dish.

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 Go ahead and give this a try. Honestly nothing beats coming home to a house that smells marvelous and a delicious dinner just waiting for you. Grab that slow cooker and enjoy Brunswick Stew.

Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew

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2 onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 chicken breasts

2 potatoes, diced

2 cups frozen lima beans

2 cups corn – frozen or canned

1 can diced tomatoes

1 ½ cup barbeque sauce or chili sauce or a combo of both

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp brown sugar

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups leftover or purchased shredded pork barbeque

(Optional: 1 lb cooked ground beef)


Place onions and garlic in a slow cooker sprayed lightly with cooking spray.

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Top with chicken, potatoes, garlic, lima beans, and corn.

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, barbeque and chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and chicken broth.

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Pour mixture in slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 5 hours.

Shred chicken and add pork.

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Cook until heated through. (can sit on warm until you are ready to serve)

Serve with cornbread if desired and pass hot sauce. 

© Deer One Publishing 2018