JoAnn McKenney of Spencer, N.C., briefly noted that she was seeking a recipe for Brunswick Stew that had chicken in it.
Harriet Boysen of Penngrove, Calif., responded. "The recipe is from The New Doubleday Cookbook [1985 edition]. I have used this recipe innumerable times and it is wonderful on a cold, nasty day. Also, the aroma throughout the house adds to the enjoyment of the dish."
Serves 12 to 15
1 six-pound stewing hen or capon, cleaned
1 gallon cold water
2 stalks celery
1 tablespoon sugar
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
3 medium yellow onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 large, ripe tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded and chopped
two 10-ounce packages frozen baby lima beans (do not thaw)
two 10-ounce packages frozen whole kernel corn (do not thaw)
1 medium green bell pepper, cored and cut into short, thin slivers
2 tablespoons salt, plus more if needed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Remove fat from body cavity of bird, then place bird and giblets in a very large kettle. Add water and celery, cover and simmer 2 hours, until meat is tender.
Remove bird and giblets from broth and set aside to cool. Strain broth and skim off fat. Rinse kettle, pour in broth, and add sugar and all vegetables except corn and green pepper. Cover and simmer 1 hour.
Meanwhile, skin chicken, cut meat into 1-inch cubes and dice giblets. Return chicken and giblets to kettle, add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer 40 minutes to 45 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Taste for seasoning, and add more salt if necessary. Serve piping hot in soup bowls as a main dish. The recipe easily can be halved or doubled, depending on how many one wishes to serve.
Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "It takes a long time to make this hearty stew, but nonetheless it couldn't be easier. Your kitchen will fill with a heady steam as it simmers along, and the resulting thick broth is crowded with veggies and dense with slivers of tomato and chicken.
"Although it isn't ethnically correct, a dollop of pesto or a handful of grated cheddar before serving might add a little zing to the robust but simple flavor. I might also add a bay leaf or a sprig of thyme to the simmering liquid to give the finished stew a little more polish."
Per serving: 348 calories; 31 grams protein; 11 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 32 grams carbohydrate; 6 grams fiber; 93 milligrams cholesterol; 995 milligrams sodium
Frances Cranfill of Fayetteville, N.C., has lost her recipe for Italian Stuffed Cabbage with tomato sauce. "I am 76 years old and I do need to make it again."
Terry McKern of Albany, Ore., writes that she has been searching for two years for a family recipe for American Chop Suey. "My brother loves it and I want to make it for him. It had ground beef, celery, canned tomatoes and rice. Also it had crunchy chow mein noodles for under and over the mixture."
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