Hopkins County Stew

My neighbor up the street made a vat of Hopkins County Chicken Stew.(recipe)

She served it at their New Year’s Eve Party Saturday night.

I sent a text to thank her for the nice time and she texted back and invited me to come up around 4, bring an empty container, fill up! I took up a quart jar but she had a couple of gallons.


When I got there, I was in awe of the huge pot she made it in. She was in the midst of major clean up from the party.  Steve and I  ate the warm penne and sweet sausage she sent home along with some stew.  Thanks for sharing your leftovers.

I’d never even heard of Hopkins County Stew from Texas.

Turns out there’s a big festival in Sulphur Springs Texas  (the fourth Saturday of October) and here is an excerpt from their webpage

“The cooking competition began in 1969, but the roots of the dish date from the late 1800s, The county had approximately 100 schools back then and it became customary to celebrate the end of each school year with stew suppers that were cooked in iron pots over open hardwood fires. 

There were no recipes.  Families just brought what they had and threw it in the pot.  The meat most likely was squirrel, and typically the most dominant vegetables were potatoes, onions, corn and tomatoes.

There is still no authentic recipe for Hopkins County Stew.  For the annual cook-off, contestants may use chicken or beef (no squirrel) and there are separate prizes for the best stew with each meat.”

Here is another link to a recipe   I will have to ask Susanne which one she used.  The ones listed above (potatoes, onions, corn and tomatoes) are still the dominant ingredients.



10 thoughts on “Hopkins County Stew

  1. Now that’s my kind of hostess. I seem to do that with my kids – send them home with lots of food. That is the biggest pot I ever saw, and the stew looks so inviting.

  2. Mmmm – what a beautiful thing to make and then so generously share! My brother does this with chili!
    And this sounds like a great stew with such s rich history –

  3. Now that’s a good neighbor, Ruth! Love recipes like this. Many fish stews — brodetto, boulliabaisse, cioppino — have similar origins. An area’s fisherman would gather at dusk, adding to the pot the fish that weren’t sold that day. If it weren’t for the long hours, the back-breaking work, and my tendency for seasickness, I would have loved to have been a fisherman. 🙂

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