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Brunswick Stew with Chicken, Ham, and Bell Peppers


Ham and peppers help flavor this tasty chicken Brunswick stew.


  • 1 hen, about 4 to 5 lbs, or about 4 pounds chicken parts
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 6 ounces lean smoked ham, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large can (28oz) whole tomatoes, drained and cut up
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 medium bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh shelled lima beans or 1 package (10oz) frozen and thawed
  • 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed


Cut chicken into pieces: 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wings, and cut the two breast halves in half again. You should have 10 pieces. Trim of as much fat as possible. Rinse and let drain. In a shallow bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper, thyme and cayenne. Dredge the damp chicken pieces in the seasoned flour.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Dredge the chicken again if the coating looks damp; shake any excess back into the bowl. Reserve the excess seasoned flour. Add the chicken pieces to the pan in a single layer without crowding, in batches if necessary, and cook, turning, until golden brown, about 7 minutes per batch. Lower the heat if necessary about 1/2 way through, so the fat doesn't burn. Remove the chicken to a large oven save casserole, Dutch oven, or baking dish. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the onions to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the ham and cook until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes longer. Sprinkle the reserved seasoned flour over the ham and onions and cook, stirring, just to blend in, about 30 seconds.

Pour in half of the chicken broth. Bring to to a boil, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Pour everything in the skillet over the chicken in the casserole. Add the tomatoes, the remaining stock, the green and red pepper, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes. Add the lima beans and corn and simmer uncovered until the chicken and vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes longer. Skim excess fat from top. Remove and discard the bay leaf and season with additional salt and pepper to taste before serving.

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