Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Recipe Redux

Atlanta weather is back to being cold, well in the 40's and that's cold to us, so I decided that I would pull out the slow cooker and put together the makings for some comfort food. I have a great cook book, Slow Cooker cookbook, published by Cooking Light and have always had a satifying meal from the recipes I have tried, until yesterday.

I decided on Chicken Brunswick Stew and for once I had everything on hand! I followed the recipe to the letter, plugged in the old crock pot and waited in anticipation for a delicious meal. Seven hours later, the dish was completed and we sat down to dinner.

Given that I had not made this recipe before, I depended on my personal food critic, aka "the husband", to give me honest feedback. This time I didn't even have to ask him because before he could say anything I had already rated the recipe as "needs improvement". The immediate issue, for me, was that the dish was way too sweet. This is the same comment my husband made; followed quickly that it didn't tast bad, just too sweet. He asked if I follwed the recipe or made substitutions since perhaps I didn't have all of the correct ingredients. He knows me so well. Assuring him that I used exactly what the recipe called for I began trying to determine the cause of the sweetness. The recipe calls for creamed corn and chili sauce, both sources of sugar so I concluded that these two ingredients led to a less than satisfactory recipe outcome.

I am going to prepare the recipe again, but make some ingredient modifications. Hopefully this time the outcome will be more like and entree rather than a chicken dessert. Below is the recipe as printed. Changes that I'm going to make follow the recipe.

Chicken Brunswick Stew

5 cups chopped onions
6 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves
2 (14 1/2 - ounce) cans no-salt-added cream-style corn
2 (14 1/2 - ounce) no salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14 ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (12 ounce) bottle chili sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Freshly ground pepper (optional)

Place onion in a 4 - 6 quart slow cooker; top with chicken. Add corn and next 9 ingredients (through pepper sauce); stir well. Cover with lid; cook on high setting for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low-heat setting; cook 6 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken; shred and return to stew. Ladle stew into bowls; sprinkle with additional black pepper, if desired. Yield: 9 servings (1 1/2 cup servings).

NOTE: Be sure to use the hot pepper sauce that contains whole peppers packed in vinegar rather than the red-colored hot sauce.

Lana's changes: reduce cream of corn soup to one can, use half (6-ounces) of the chili sauce, and increase the black pepper to 1 teaspoon.

I'll let know about round two. If you do make either version of this recipe, I would love to know what your thoughts are.

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