Southern chicken stew

Southern chicken stew

Southern chicken stew ("chicken mull" in northern Georgia) is a traditional dish from North Carolina and Georgia. It is a type of stew consisting of parboiled whole chicken in a cream or milk based broth, butter and seasoned with salt, pepper and other ingredients. Traditionally, the stew is served in the late fall and winter months. In northern Georgia, this part of the year is often referred to as "mull season". [1] Often the term "chicken stew" or "chicken mull" refers to an event or gathering where the dish is served.



Recipes for southern chicken stew vary slightly from person to person, but it is usually made by first cooking a whole chicken by boiling or parboiling, allowing a rich broth to form. The chicken is then removed from the pot and the meat is pulled from the bones or cut off with a knife. The skin, bones and fat are removed as well. Sometimes boneless, skinless chicken breasts are used instead of a whole chicken. A thickening of flour and milk or cream is made and added to the broth. The chicken is then added back into the liquid along with salt, pepper and butter or margarine. Various other ingredients may be added to the stew according to local tradition; a more common addition is varying amounts of hot sauce.[2]

The stew varies in color from white to pale yellow, depending on the amount of butter or margarine used. It can vary in thickness from very thin and soup-like to thick and creamy. Saltine crackers are commonly served with chicken stew, either on the side or crumbled into the bowl.

Cultural traditions

Because of its low cost of preparation and reputation as a local comfort food, chicken stew is often served at large social gatherings such as church fellowships, family reunions and community fundraisers. It is a tradition at these gatherings to prepare the stew in a large cast iron or stainless steel pot, often outdoors over an open fire. Bowls of stew are sometimes complimented with coleslaw, rice or grilled cheese sandwiches. In North Carolina and Georgia, "chicken stews" or "chicken mulls" are usually held during the colder seasons, with most events occurring September through December.

See also


  1. ^ Charles C. Doyle, Mulling over Mull: A North Georgia Foodways Localism, Midwestern Folklore 29 (2003): 5-11
  2. ^ Southern Chicken Stew basic recipe

External links

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