Busy Day Brunswick Stew (Crockpot)

Susan Feliciano


Brunswick stew was a specialty of my father's, and his recipe was his mother's which dated back to her grandmother way before the Civil War. The original started out: "Skin a squirrel, rabbit, or get a good chicken if no game is available ..."
Actually, my father had traced our ancestry all the way back to before the first Alstons came to America in the 1600's. So the Brunswick Stew recipe was definitely Colonial. I have adapted it to crockpot cooking. And like my father, I always believe it tastes better reheated on the second day.

pinch tips: How to Brown Chicken





30 Min


8 Hr


Slow Cooker Crock Pot


3 lb
rabbit or chicken pieces, cut up, skin removed
3 Tbsp
shortening or lard (i use olive oil)
1 large
onion, sliced
4 oz
salt pork, fat back, or thick bacon
3 c
chicken stock
2 can(s)
diced or stewed tomatoes with juice
1 can(s)
green lima beans
1 can(s)
white shoepeg corn
1 large
potato, peeled and cubed
8 oz
tomato sauce or puree (optional)
lots of black pepper
1 tsp
(or more) crushed dried red pepper
1/4 c
cider vinegar
salt to taste

Directions Step-By-Step

In a heavy skillet, heat shortening or oil and brown the rabbit or chicken pieces very well, until they are turning golden brown on the outside. Remove the meat to a slow cooker set on high.
In the same skillet, cook onion in the salt pork (chopped fine) until salt pork is turning crispy and onion is golden brown. Put this into the slow cooker.
Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with juice, lima beans, corn, potatoes, and tomato sauce (if desired) to the slow cooker. Add water if necessary to fill slow cooker at least 3/4 full. Cook on high power, covered, for about 1-2 hours, then turn to low and cook 6 or more hours. NOTE: Tomato sauce is not traditional in this recipe, but can be added if you like a stronger tomato flavor.
One hour before serving, stir in black and red peppers to taste, cider vinegar, and salt to taste. Heat through to blend flavors. May heat about an hour or longer if desired. This is good now, but really better heated up the next day.
NOTE: I sometimes make this using pre-cooked leftover chicken meat from a rotisserie chicken or another source. Use at least 3-4 cups of meat, and omit the shortening/browning stage. Just put the meat in the slow cooker. Proceed with browning the salt pork.
Some cooks will put about 1/2 pound of cooked crumbled sausage in, too. It really depends on what you have on hand. Sometimes they add okra, but my father always said okra makes it Gumbo, not Brunswick Stew.

About this Recipe

Main Ingredient: Chicken
Regional Style: Southern
Dietary Needs: Diabetic
Other Tags: Healthy, Heirloom