Updated: May 9, 2022
Are you hungry tonight? "The King" would have been 86 this Friday, January 8, 2021. His family cookbook's "Chicken Brunswick Stew" inspired me to write my own recipe. I call it: "Loving You Brunswick Stew." It's more rib-sticking barbecue lowcountry than potato-ey, perfect on rice with a crusty baguette. My taste testers say: 11 out of 10 stars! This is a website exclusive, you won't see this one in my new cookbook!
This Brunswick has ingredients common to a Cajun/Creole gumbo as well. The sausage, chicken, celery, onion, okra and red kidneys are aligned with New Orleans cuisine. Brunswick Stew came from Virginia and the Carolinas and was originally made with squirrel, rabbit, even possum! but chicken is common now. Where the Presleys' recipe had bacon, I use sausage, and instead of the potatoes I start with a quick roux like a gumbo to thicken the mix. The addition of barbecue sauce gives mine a lowcountry tang.
Loving You Brunswick Stew
Makes 8 servings
1 large (4 pound), bone-in, skin-on, chicken, cut up
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
12 ounces smoked sausage, cut in ½-inch slices
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped fine
4 ribs celery, chopped fine
1 quart chicken broth
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
16 ounces frozen okra
1 can (15 ounces) whole kernel corn
1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.
In a big (7.25 quart) Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 1/4 cup oil, sausage, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, remove sausage from pot and set aside.
To same pot, quickly add flour, stir till flour combined but not deeply colored, about 4 minutes.
Add garlic, onion, celery. Cook, stirring, till vegetables coated, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, 1 cup water. Add Worcestershire sauce, bring to a boil. Add chicken, reduce to a simmer. Cover and stir occasionally, 15 minutes.
Remove chicken, shred meat off the bone in bite-size pieces, return meat to pot, discard all skin and bones. Stir in sausage, okra, corn, beans, barbecue sauce, vinegar. Bring to a boil then simmer 15 minutes. Let sit 45 minutes, covered. To serve, re-heat and ladle over rice with your favorite hot sauce nearby.