Brunswick Stew

Ron Boucher writes, “This stew originated in the Brunswick, Virginia, area. It was passed down from the Acadian Indians. The original recipe has been enhanced a bit to make it more interesting, well rounded, and full flavored. Although it adds an Italian influence, the flavor of this is further enhanced by serving it with fresh pesto and grated cheeses.”

Adapted from Ron Boucher, Chez Boucher Culinary Arts Training Center.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

½ cup diced onions

2 quarts chicken broth

3 ounces tomato paste

1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely diced

12 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut diagonally

8 ounces hulled corn or hominy

12 ounces okra, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 dried chili pepper, crushed

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 pound stewed or cooked chicken meat, boned and diced

1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender. Do not brown.

2. Add the chicken broth and stir in the tomato paste. Add the tomatoes, green beans, corn, and okra. Stir in the oregano, chili pepper, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, then add the chicken and stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.

3. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Ladle into deep bowls and serve hot.

Makes 3 quarts, 8 to 10 servings