This Fascinating History of Chicken Stew

Chicken stew is a delicious, warming meal. It is simple to make and you can make a lot of different variations of this tasty dish. Chicken stew actually has a fascinating history and this dish has been enjoyed for many centuries.

A stew is two or more different foods simmered together in a liquid. Hungarian goulash, beef stroganoff, coq au vin, and beef bourguignon are all stews.

The “Apicius de re Coquinaria” is the oldest cookbook ever discovered. It contains fish and lamb stew recipes, although chicken had been domesticated by then too. There were three Romans with that name living between 1 BC and 2 AD and the book is believed to have been compiled by one of them.

You can actually go back even further because primitive tribes used to boil foods together, which is what a stew essentially is. Amazonian tribes uses turtle shells as pans and would boil the turtle entrails with some other ingredients. Other cultures used large shells, such as clamshells, instead of pans. Archeological evidence points to this type of cookery going back seven or eight thousand years. The invention of pottery, about ten thousand years ago, made cooking stews easier.

Fowl such as chicken has been domesticated for thousands of years and chicken stew has been a longstanding popular dish. Different cultures have different chicken stews, such as the peanut butter chicken stew preferred in parts of Africa and the spicy chicken stew made in Morocco.

Chicken Stew Varieties

Chicken booyah is a very flavorful chicken recipe. It is like a thick soup or a thin stew and is very popular in northeast Wisconsin. The first Belgian immigrants arrived in Wisconsin in 1853 and they spoke Walloon rather than English or French. It is thought that the word booyah derived from the word bouillon and a Belgian who did not know how to spell bouillon just wrote down how the word sounded to him.

Southern Chicken Stew

Perhaps you have tried southern chicken stew. It is a very popular recipe in North Carolina. Southern chicken stew is made with a whole chicken parboiled in a milk or cream based sauce. Butter, salt, pepper, and other ingredients are used in this recipe. The color of southern chicken stew varies from white to yellow, depending how much margarine or butter is used. It can be thin or thick in consistency and saltine crackers are often served with southern chicken stew.

This dish is often served in the coldest months and “chicken stew” can refer to a get together or gathering where this food is served, rather than the food itself. Chicken stew recipes are often thought of as comfort food because they are comforting to eat and simple to prepare. Chicken stew is commonly served at social get togethers, such as church fellowships, community fundraisers, and family reunions.

At such events, the chicken stew will be prepared in a large cast iron or stainless steel cooking pot and might be made outside over an open fire. You might get grilled cheese sandwiches, rice, or coleslaw served on the side.

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