Chicken Brunswick Stew
by Jes Mostek
serves: 8
  Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.

To further reduce the price-tag on this cost-conscious meal, you can use a whole cut up chicken (or just a whole chicken). The 3 1/2 lb. whole cut up chicken yeilds 3 lbs. of meat after you remove the bones. Just be sure to do that before you add the chicken to the stew (no bones in the stew, please!).
  1/4 c.   olive oil, divided
  3 lb.   boneless, skinless chicken
  2 c.   celery, coarsly chopped
  2   green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
  1 lg.   onion, coarsely chopped
  2 cloves   garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp. powder for each clove)
  2 (15 oz.) cans   diced tomatoes, with liquid
  1 (1 lb.) bag   frozen corn
  1 (15 oz.) can   lima beans or butter beans
  1/2 tsp.   cayenne
    salt and pepper to taste
  2 c.   chicken stock
  Heat 2 T. oil (half of the oil) in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet.

Rinse and pat dry the chicken. If you like more bite-sized pieces of meat in your stew, cut them to size. When the oil ripples from the heat, add the meat to the skillet. Cook, turning half-way through, until browned on the outside and cooked through (8-15 minutes, depending on how thick the meat is).

Meanwhile, chop your vegetables. Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy-bottomed 4-qt. sauce pan or stock pot. Saute the celery, peppers, onion, and garlic in the oil until lightly browned and fork-tender (5-10 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes, corn, beans, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

By now, the chicken should be cooked through and ready to be transferred to the stew (if not, reduce the heat of the vegetable mixture to a slow simmer until the chicken is done). Add the cooked chicken to the vegetable mixture and continue cooking the stew on medium to low heat.

Transfer you attention back to the skillet that you used to brown your chicken. There should be lots of delicious brown bits in the bottom of that skillet and we want to add that flavor to our stew. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet and heat to a rapid boil, continuously scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to get it all loose. When you are satisfied that all of the dripping from the chicken have been freed, pour the boiling chicken stock into the stew.

Serve hot with biscuits.