Thursday, December 24, 2009

Night Before Christmas Tradition: Brunswick Stew

 {Photo from}

Every Christmas Eve, my fiance's family gathers after Christmas Eve Mass to eat Brunswick Stew, a traditional southern recipe. My future mother-in-law's mother used to make it for her husband, since it was a tradition in his family to eat it the night before Christmas Day. The tradition is about 60 years old!

I don't have the exact recipe -- family secret -- but here's the closest one (I added in the package of okra to the list of ingredients as his sister prepared it). By the way, this is certainly budget-friendly meal!

Brunswick Stew from
From 19th-century Virginia, this stew originally included squirrel meat (this recipe uses chicken and you can certainly add London Broil or other beef cut suitable for stews to this recipe). Although the stew is sometimes thickened with stale bread cubes, this version uses flour to give it body and features garlic bread on the side. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup stew and 1 slice bread)

Cooking spray
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
1 package frozen okra, thawed
6 (1-ounce) slices Italian bread, toasted
2 garlic cloves, halved

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add bell pepper, onion, and celery to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oil to pan. Combine flour and chicken in a medium bowl, tossing to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Gradually stir in broth; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste and next 5 ingredients (through okra) to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

Rub bread slices with cut sides of garlic; discard garlic. Serve bread with stew.

Nutritional Information
Calories:319 (26% from fat)
Fat:9.2g (sat 2.2g,mono 3.5g,poly 2.6g)

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