Apparently, I did not take a photograph of the finished burgoo. I am sorry. The finished burgoo is a stew.
Mr. Big Food cooked it over the course of two days– well worth the effort. We had it for supper on Derby Day!
The recipe is from Craig Claiborne’s Southern Cooking (1987). Here’s part of the editorial that precedes the recipe:
Some people believe that the word burgoo is related to a mispronunciation of the word barbecue, , and the dish is, of course, frequently cooked out of doors for one or another festival or political rally. But John Mariani, in The Dictionary of American Food and Drink, states that the word was known to British sailors in the mid-1700s as an oatmeal porridge, and that the name then was associated with the Turkish cracked-wheat product known as burghul or bulgur. He adds that around the turn of the century a so-called Kentucky burgoo king named James T. Looney was used to serving crowds of people numbering up to ten thousand.
This is the recipe of a friend of mine who told me that in making a burgoo, which is first cousin to a Louisiana gumbo, “It is customary to begin with chicken, then add to the kettle something that happens to run by—a squirrel, possum, or rabbit,” He added that nothing ran by when he made this version, so he added ham for depth of flavor.”
Traditionally burgoo is ladled into the mugs from which minty juleps are drunk, but any mugs or bowls can, of course, be substituted. Eat with spoons.
KENTUCKY BURGOO II
16 1-cup servings
1 fowl, 4 ½ to 5 lb, whole, cleaned
3 quarts water
1 quart beef stock
6 large ripe tomatoes, cut up
2 medium-size onions, whole, unpeeled
2 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp coarse salt, “if desired”
1 ½ C 100-proof bourbon
2 chicken breasts, skinned, boned, cut into large pieces
1 C diced country ham trimmings, optional
2 C corn kernels, fresh, or frozen and thawed
1 C raw potatoes, diced
2 C shelled fresh lima beans
2 ½ C okra, trimmed of stems, cut into halves
1 Tbsp file powder, optional
Place fowl in a large stock pot with 3 quarts water and beef stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and skim off foam as it rises to the surface. When broth is clear add tomatoes, onions, curry powder, pepper, and salt (if using), and simmer “gently but steadily,” covered partially, for 2 hours. Add 1 C bourbon and simmer “gently but steadily,” covered partially, for 4 hours longer. Remove all chicken, trim off and discard skin and bones, and reserve meat in large pieces. Strain soup, removing onion skin and rubbing tomato and onion solids through a sieve into broth. Cool completely, then remove fat from surface. Return soup to a rinsed pot, add remaining ½ C bourbon, reserved cooked chicken meat, raw breast meat, ham, corn, potatoes, lima beans, and okra, and simmer “gently but steadily, partially covered,” for 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning. “If you are using file powder, add it to the hot soup as soon as it is removed from the heat. If file has been added, the soup should not be reheated because it will become gummy, so do not add file to any more burgoo than you expect to serve at one time.”