Williamsburg Brunswick Stew

Williamsburg Brunswick Stew

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Sorry, no pic because family ate it too fast! Adapted from an old Colonial Williamsburg recipe book from 1971. This soup is best made the day or evening before. I originally made this in soup pot on oven burner for years and have adapted here for 8 Quart electric pressure cooker as well. Notes for both included throughout. Cook time in pressure cooker 40 min total. Almost all the prep time in either case can be done while the chicken is simmering, so there really isn't "additional prep-time." It's included so u know how much work you have to put into it!


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10-12 depending on soup bowl
30 Min
3 Hr
Stove Top


  • 1
    5-6 lb roasting chicken (skin removed)
  • 2 qt
    chicken stock. low sodium is fine if you require less salt.
  • 2 can(s)
    (1 lb each) of diced tomatos
  • 4 c
    corn kernels, frozen or fresh
  • 2 c
    lima beans, frozen
  • 2 large
    onions chopped (or buy pre-chopped)
  • 3 medium
    potatoes diced (skin can be left on if thin-skinned)
  • 2 c
    sliced okra (or green zucchini with skin left on)
  • 2 tsp
    sea salt
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp
    dried thyme (or large sprig fresh)
  • 2 clove
    garlic (large) chopped
  • 1 large
    bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp

How to Make Williamsburg Brunswick Stew


  1. Rinse chicken and cut in pieces so it can be submerged in broth for faster cooking. At most grocery stores they have a whole chicken cut in pieces, so you can buy that and save a step. Remove skin on all but the wings and you will have a really low-fat version of this soup. Make sure u remove the liver and gizzards and toss or use for something else. Note, you don't want boneless chicken because the flavor comes from the bones as well.
  2. Fill a large 8 Quart pot with 2 quarts of chicken broth and add chopped onions, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaf and tomatoes. Simmer partially covered on medium for 1-1/2 hours. Note for a pressure cooker, cook for 10 minutes under pressure. The Soups & Stews button automatically defaults to 10 min. It will take about 10 min to heat up, so 20 min total for this first round.
  3. While chicken is cooking, clean and chop your potatoes. I used some fingerling potatoes and some of the purple ones available to add color and variation to the soup. Use what you like. Best if you don't use a baking potato, but a more waxy textured potato so it holds up while cooking for a long time. Set to side.
  4. Prepare your okra or zucchini. Don't slice too thin. I use small 1-inch thick zucchinis so i can just slice them once to speed up prep. Set aside
  5. After about 1-1.5 hours, remove chicken from the soup and debone quickly. You want it when the meat is falling easily from the bones. I use some tongs and a fork to do this quickly since it is hot. Or let cool a bit first. Return deboned chicken back to pot. If using a pressure cooker, do the same thing, but release the pressure immediately after 10 min and then debone.
  6. Add to the soup, all the veggies you prepped in step 3 and 4 plus the lima beans and corn. During this step also add the sugar.
  7. Cover and bring to a bubbling simmer and cook for 30 min on med-high. The goal here is to make sure the potatoes are cooked so a fork goes in easily. Then reduce to medium low and simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally. If using the pressure cooker, reseal and cook again for another 10 min under pressure. Release pressure exactly after 10 minutes. Open and stir ingredients and turn off pressure cooker. When either scenario above is complete, let cool covered and put in fridge for next day. I plan ahead and make room for the whole pot in fridge so i don't have much clean up until the next day either.
  8. Reheat soup and serve with hot buttermilk biscuits the following day.
    Alternative #2, serve with oyster crackers.
    Alternative #3. serve with a dollop of sour cream for those that like sour cream on everything, like me! Skip this alternative for dairy-free.

Printable Recipe Card

About Williamsburg Brunswick Stew

Course/Dish: Chicken Soups
Main Ingredient: Chicken
Regional Style: Southern
Other Tag: Healthy

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