Our Family’s Chicken Stew Recipe

I am going to start this post off by asking a favor of you all.  
Please make this chicken stew.

Its that good. Its so good that it actually bothers me to think that some of you might only look at the photos, read the tutorial, and never make it. Its so good that if I could, I would seriously arrange a time and place for all of us to meet up under a tent somewhere in the middle of the country just to serve you this chicken stew. Its just……..its…..well folks, its just so good!

My mother got this recipe out of a 1974 issue of Good Housekeeping. There was a photograph of a little old lady next to the title and Mama said “She just looked like her food would be really good”. Since then, I cannot even begin to tell you how often we make it. Everyone in my family makes this and loves it. My in laws are coming in from Georgia this weekend for the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddler’s Convention as they do every year and this stew is always a request for their first meal. Tonight I’m serving it with Dixie Cornbread.

This stew refrigerates well, freezes well, and can easily feed a crowd simply by adding more potatoes. I always try to make a double batch and my family happily eats it whenever they need a quick meal all week long!

Once you make this a time or two, you’ll have no more need of the recipe. It will be ingrained on your heart, your taste buds, and your stomach.

 

You’ll need: Potatoes, A chicken, Crushed tomatoes, corn, and onion! You’ll also need a bit of salt, pepper, sugar, and margarine. Exact sizes and quantities are at the bottom of the page.
Cover chicken with water and cook over medium heat until done. When chicken is done, remove from broth and set aside to cool a bit. Reserve broth.
If you prefer to use boneless skinless breasts for this, just add some chicken bouillon cubes to your water to make sure your broth is rich enough.

Peel and dice potatoes. Also peel and dice your onion.
Add potatoes to broth.
Add diced onion as well. Cook these until your potatoes are tender.
Cook until potatoes are tender. Remove about a coffee cup’s worth of potatoes.
Like this.
With a fork, mash those potatoes in the cup. We are going to add this back to the stew and it will thicken it. You can also just use a bit of instant mashed potatoes here if you want, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post. (I truly believe soup thickening is about all they are good for….except for when I make this crust out of them for our Taco casserole…….but that is a recipe for another day)
Place back in pot.
Add can of tomatoes. Now you can use any type you want here. I tend to used crushed because my husband (who I have oft mentioned was dropped on his head as a child) doesn’t like to actually bite into a piece of a tomato in his stew. However, I prefer diced if I’m going with canned. Nothing though, NOTHING is better than home grown tomatoes from my freezer if I have them!
Add corn. I often use frozen corn if you prefer that.

Add salt…

 

 

And pepper.
and sugar. I know sugar sounds a bit odd in a stew, trust me on this.
Simmer slowly with lid off for about forty five minutes.

 

 

Just before serving, stir in margarine.
These photos were taken with my old camera, the final was taken with the new camera!
YUM!!
Now, I did this tutorial how I make my stew. The following recipe is my mothers. You may find that hers does things slightly differently (she doesn’t cook her onion with her potatoes), but it makes absolutely no difference in the outcome!

 

 

Chicken Stew

Chicken Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken
  • 2 lg onions, chopped
  • 7 cups water
  • 4 cups canned tomatoes
  • 6 med.potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups frozen or canned whole kernel corn
  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook chicken until done in water. Remove chicken from broth and discard skin. Separate meat from bones and shred meat.
  2. Dip off as much fat from the broth as possible.
  3. Simmer potatoes in 1 cup of broth in covered saucepan until done, do not drain. Mash potatoes slightly, keeping them lumpy.
  4. Add corn, onions, tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper to broth.
  5. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Add potatoes and chicken and simmer slowly with lid off for at least 45 minutes.
  7. Right before serving, stir in butter and let it melt. Best if made a day ahead and reheated to serve.
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*This has been our family’s favorite stew since my mother got the recipe in 1974. No one has to use the recipe anymore because we have all made it so much.

 


*I’ve added a “Freezes Well” category to Southern Plate, beginning with this stew. I’m going to go back this weekend and add all of my dishes that freeze well to that category for your convenience!

Thank you for reading Southern Plate! I better get back to my company!

 

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Comments

  1. Ashley says

    I make this once a week now for my boyfriend who loves any kind of stew! He enjoyed it so much the first time I made it that he ate the entire batch in 2 days! I had a bowl or 2 myself but he demolished the rest. I was going to freeze the leftovers but there were none. I am making this today and hopefully will have someleft to freeze. It’s just like my Mamaws and that says a lot! Much love from Alabama! Xoxo

  2. Denise says

    I just made this for dinner and I made homemade dumplings with it; it was delicious and was quite filling! I also added mixed vegetables, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, rosemary and red pepper flakes for a little additional seasoning. I am not a big fan of tomatoes (I used canned crushed tomatoes) so I was a little skeptical where I was making it, but it was still quite good and very flavorful. I think that the next time I will make it without the tomatoes and see how that turns out. But it did make a huge pot, and my family loved it. Thanks for posting this recipe!

  3. Peggy says

    Chicken stew is an “Alabama” staple. It is made for fund raisers,family reunions, and any other gathering. Our family wants it for our annual Christmas day meal. They start asking way before the holidays, “Is Papa Gene making chicken stew this year?” However the one thing that makes ours special is the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that we eat with it. We make creamy and crunchy and everyone who has ever eaten stew with us soon becomes a fan. Try it, you will like it!!!!

  4. Betty Manley says

    I also would like to know if the tomatoes and corn should be drained. Also, how many boneless skinless chicken breasts should I use? I’m thinking 3-4? This sounds delicious! I can’t wait to make it. Love your website and all of your recipes.

  5. Kim says

    Christy,

    I have tried a number of your recipes and loved EVERY one of them! I made this chicken stew the other night(it is a lot like what my family calls Brunswick Stew) and my father (very picky) absolutely loved it! I can’t wait to pick up your cook books!

  6. Sharon Carson says

    Hi Christy! It’s been a snowy week up here in southern New Jersey, so I just made this stew today; the hubby and I loved it! This is very much like my dear departed mother-in-law’s chicken vegetable soup. She added a can of condensed tomato soup instead of canned tomatoes, but the flavor is very similar and it made me think of her. What sweet memories!
    I have to tell you, Christy, I bought your “Come Home To Supper” book for both myself and for my friend Kim. She told me that her family ( hubby and three kids, ages 12, 9 and 6) told her to thank ‘Mrs. Carson’ for the cookbook! She has made several recipes and her family loved them. So, now I am paying the thanks forward to you. She loved the easy preparation and the fact that you don’t call for a lot of fancy ingredients. I invited her to go on your website, too. Now, if I could just get MY copy of your book back from my mother, I would be in good shape. I had a feeling the day I lent t to her, I wouldn’t get it back anytime soon….sigh! Something tells me I’d better order myself another copy… Have a great rest of the weekend.

  7. Patty says

    Christie, First of all I absolutely LOVE your site! You just can’t go wrong with good ole southern cookig :-) Second, is there ANY way you can use chicken broth instead of the 7 cups of water used to cook the chicken in? Dyin’ to make this

  8. Cassandra says

    I googles something I could make with the ingredients I had, and it brought me here. Made this for my family of picky eaters, and I added cut up sausage. I served it over rice. They all absolutely loved it. The next night they asked if there was enough left to have it again. This time I added elbow noodles to it, and left off the rice. Huge hit! Great recipe. It’s so hard to find something that pleases every one. Thank you so much for posting. This one is definitely going in the recipe book.

  9. Debbie says

    Christy – I made this a couple of weeks ago, with shortcuts of course. I used cubed hashbrowns and chicken broth. I did use the crushed tomatoes but also added a can of RoTele. A new family favorite!! Thank you!

  10. Debbie Moore says

    I was surprised to see this recipe, as my family makes this soup, too. I thought we were the only ones and it was some kind of family concoction. Especially the sugar part. I sometimes use Rotel for the tomato part. Texas influence. Love your cooking! Hungry now. Must go cook!

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