Recipe courtesy of Virginia Willis
High Cotton Brunswick Stew
1 hr 3 min
15 min
48 min
Serves 6 to 8
1 hr 3 min
15 min
48 min
Serves 6 to 8


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 onion, preferably Vidalia, chopped
  • 1 poblano or green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 8 fingerling potatoes
  • 6 cups homemade chicken stock or low-fat, reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups shelled fresh butter beans (about 1 1/2 pounds unshelled) or frozen butter beans
  • Scraped kernels from 4 ears fresh sweet corn (about 2 cups)
  • Bouquet garni (8 sprigs flat-leaf parsley; 6 sprigs thyme; 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh; and 10 whole black peppercorns, tied together in cheesecloth) 
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into medallions


Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and poblano and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and smoked paprika. Cook until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the wine and cook until almost dry, 3 to 5 minutes. 

Add the potatoes, stock, tomatoes with juice, butter beans, corn, and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the butter beans and potatoes are just tender, about 30 minutes. Season the chicken and pork on both sides. Add the seasoned meat and continue to cook until the juices of the chicken run clear when pierced with a fork, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed serving bowls and serve immediately.

Photograph by Helene Dujardin (c) 2011

Cook's Note

Brilliant Short Recipe: Served with Smoked Meat Considering the fact that I've already taken country stew, called it High Cotton, and fancied it up, Brilliant better be pretty darn good. Well, it is. To elevate our citified High Cotton Brunswick Stew, give stovetop smoking a twirl. Prepare the High Cotton Brunswick Stew to the point of adding the chicken and pork and keep warm. Soak 1/2 cup wood chips in 1 cup water for 5 minutes. Sprinkle them on the bottom of a stovetop smoker. Place the smoker's drip pan on top of the wood chips, and put the whole, uncut tenderloin and whole chicken pieces on the drip pan rack. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the smoker over medium-high heat until the wood begins to smoke, then close the smoker lid. Decrease the heat to medium. Smoke until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 140 degrees F to 145 degrees F and in the center of the chicken registers 160 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Transfer the meat to a warmed plate and cover with aluminum foil to rest and allow the juices to redistribute. Slice the meat on the diagonal and place in the center of warmed bowls. Ladle the stew around the meat and serve immediately.

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