Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Food fit for a southern party

by Ann
Kentucky Burgoo Stew seen here with Eggs Derby and a Jalapeno corn muffin
My husband, Patrick grew up in the south.  When we first met I was anxious to try new recipes that reminded him of the foods he loved when he was growing up.  I even bought a smoker to make pulled pork, which was much more of an expense and mess than it was worth.  Among the recipes I experimented with were "real" southern fried chicken, grits, and a Brunswick stew, a favorite of his that is like a thick chicken soup.  I will share the recipe in this post because it was similar to a stew served at the Kentucky Derby party that Sheila's husband was able to get us all admitted to on the day of the race. (Thanks again, David!)
My kind of party -- lots of delicious, beautifully presented food -- and no lines to get at it!  ;-)
Mini Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pies - Yum!
Peach Cobbler, anyone?  Don't forget the molasses ice cream to put on top!
The party was held on one of the lawns of the Phoenician resort in Phoenix, and although the local temperature was hovering at about 95 degrees, the shade of the trees and umbrellas made it very comfortable.  The party was a very low-pressure charity event to benefit retired race horses, one of which was available for photos.  
Should we be embarrassed that our table looked like this?   Nah.... It's a party -- you're supposed to eat!
There were opportunities to eat, visit, and view everyone's take on "southern fashion" prior to viewing the race on big-screen TVs brought outdoors.  If you missed Heather's Derby Fashion blog post yesterday, go back to it -- she has some great pics!

Included in the menu:
Classic mint juleps
Kenucky Burgoo Stew - see recipe at
Shrimp and grits
Kentucky Hot Browns - open faced sandwiches with turkey, bacon cheese, and sliced tomatoes - see recipe at
BBQ bourbon pork flatbread
ham biscuits
Eggs Derby (looked too runny for my tastes, and had sweetbreads, so I opted out -- call me a chicken!)
Peach cobbler with molasses ice cream
Bourbon pecan pie

 Aunt Ida May's Brunswick Stew 
(very similar to Burgoo Stew - but with chicken as the only protein)


1  frying chicken
3  slices bacon cut into pieces
6  tomatoes (or canned)
2  large onions diced
3  pieces of celery with leaves, cut into small pieces
4 or 5  white potatoes
4  ears of corn (or canned or frozen)
1  qt. lima beans (or canned or frozen)
2   tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar

Cook chicken, raw bacon, tomatoes, onions, celery, salt, sugar, and pepper in a large ketttle with 2 qts. of water for a couple of hours. (This can be done in the crock pot.)
When the chicken is tender (falling off the bones), take chicken out, cool, bone it, and cut chicken into small pieces and return to kettle that still has the vegetables in it. 
Add diced potatoes and lima beans and cook until thickens. (This will take at least another hour.)
When done, add corn and cook 8 to 10 mins. longer. 

Stew should be thick, but thin enough to eat with spoon.


  1. Sounds delicious. I went to college in North Carolina.

  2. Mmmmmm... looks delicious! And what a fabulous venue for a Kentucky Derby Party! The weather was quite warm but with all that wonderful food and the drinks being poured I bet no one even noticed!! Especially under the shade of the darling, wide-brimmed party hats.. thanks for sharing your day!