Yesterday I made a kind of planned-over low-country stew. I had some corn, a couple of potatoes, a bag of frozen lima beans, and part of an onion sitting in the fridge. My little grocery store often carries really small chickens, the kind of young chicken under two pounds that you would pay a premium for in markets in D.C. if you could even find them. I always pick up one when I go shopping because they are quick to cook and I adore chicken. Last week in the "on sale" category were Red Carolina Smoked Sausage. I know they are bad for you, full of god knows what, aside from the fat and nitrates, but they were on sale and they looked so lonely...
Late in the afternoon I tuned the oven on to 450F and pulled out my chicken without any thought. (Check out the post at Cookbook of the Day on the The Splendid Table's How To Eat Supper for their "hot oven" advice.)
Since I had no real clear ideas, I just added some salt and pepper, a cup of water and dropped the chicken into my big cast-iron pot, put the lid on and slid it into the oven.
Then I thought of the Carolina Red's and the rest is history. Traditionally, a Frogmore Stew has shrimp, but being landlocked, I have to plan way ahead and not simply "over" to ensure seafood. While the chicken cooked I peeled potatoes, cut off corn, and grabbed the frozen lima beans. I didn't really need to season it much as the spice in the smoked sausage added plenty to the dish. Here is my "recipe" for Frog More-or-Less Stew . Remember it is a "planned-over" recipe or a basically an "un- planned-over" leftover recipe so use your judgment and imagination.
Frog More-or-Less Stew
1 small chicken (or chicken pieces or leftover chicken)
1 or 2 Red Carolina Smoked Sausages (or hot dogs, half-smokes, andouille)
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes (or scrubbed new potatoes)
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off (or ears of corn broken into small pieces or some frozen corn)
1/2 bag frozen lima beans ( or the whole bag if you are so inclined)
1 small onion ( or the other half of the onion you sliced for hamburgers)
some salt and pepper to taste (and some red pepper if you like it hot)
In a rather large cast-iron pan (like Le Creuset ) add the chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper, the onion, and a cup of water. Let the chicken cook about 20 minutes. (If you use cooked chicken, simply add everything to the pot and cook about 40 minutes.)
Add peeled potatoes, corn, lima beans, and sausage.
Cook another 40 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pot, allowing it to cool a bit. Remove the meat and return the meat to the pot.
Season with some extra hot sauce if it's too mild for your taste.