This past week held an important milestone for the changing of the seasons: the switching out of summer clothes for those of the warmer variety. I love that change, especially when I have the "Oh, I forgot about that jacket!" moment.
The same thing happens with the change of ingredients and menus. It's such a joy to use newly-rediscovered recipes and to remember what you forgot in the brightness of spring and summer: how much you loved that combination of fall flavors or the heartiness of that stew.
So, here's one of my favorites, dusted off for the season. Brunswick stew is a Southern staple, with many, many variations (including squirrel and rabbit). This excellent recipe, which uses chicken, comes from my mom's kitchen.
2 whole chickens (around 6 pounds, total)
2 quarts of water
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 lemon, sliced and seeds removed
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 15 ounce cans whole kernel yellow corn, undrained
2 14.75 ounce cans cream corn
1 pound frozen petite butter (Lima) beans
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground pepper
In a large pot, combine the chicken, water, and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken to a cutting board or plate to cool. Transfer 1 quart of the cooking water to a bowl; discard the rest.
Return the pot to the stove. Combine the ketchup and next 12 ingredients (through 1/2 teaspoon pepper) in the pot and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Add the 1 quart stock and remaining ingredients to the pot and turn the heat to low.
Shred the chicken and add to the pot, discarding the skin and bones. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer the stew for four hours, stirring occasionally.