Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Almost Holden's Chicken Stew

One of my favorite things in this entire world is chicken stew.  It's warm, creamy, full of chicken & I absolutely love it!  The best chicken stew I've ever had is from a little restaurant in my hometown of Spartanburg, SC, called Holden's Ranch.  I worked there for a short while years ago & while I wasn't able to get the exact recipe from working there, I have been able to come close.  Here's my version of a hometown favorite, Holden's chicken stew.

First start with a whole baked chicken (baked yourself or pick one up from the grocery store). You'll also need 3 cans of evaporated milk, approx. 1 quart of milk, 1 onion, 2 chicken bullion cubes, 1/2 can of cream of chicken soup, 2 tbsp of butter, 1 tbsp. of salt & pepper, & a few dashes of paprika.  Pick the entire chicken of all the meat you can find on it.  Place it in a bowl & squeeze the chicken it your hands till it becomes soft & shredded.  This is a key part to making Holden's chicken stew, getting the chicken as fine as possible.  In a large pot saute the onion in the 2 tbsp. of butter till the onions are translucent & tender.  Add the 3 cans of evaporated milk, 1 quart of milk, & the 2 chicken bullion cubes.  Let all these ingredients simmer on low for 20 min stirring constantly till the milk mixture is hot.  Then add the chicken & the seasonings.  Continue to let the stew simmer for 10 min.  Then lastly add the 1/2 can of cream of chicken soup. You could surely add the whole can if you want a thicker, creamer stew.  Since Holden's is thin, that's the way I prefer to have mine.  :)  Cover & let the stew simmer another 10 min. on low-medium heat to let all the flavors marry.  Once you've reached your desired temperature, you should have the "one of a kind" taste that could only come from Holden's, but instead came from your own kitchen!

I've recently moved from Spartanburg & have messed around with this recipe trying to get it just right.  I feel I have come as close as I'll ever be to my hometown favorite.  A big bowl of this chicken stew, with some saltines, & a few dashes of hot sauce make me feel right at home- away from home.

15 comments:

  1. Thank you! I know this is a very old post, but I just came across it today. My husband and I grew up in Spartanburg but have lived in TN for 18 years. We go back and get our Holden's chicken stew every time we visit SC. I've tried to recreate the recipe before, but have not come very close. I'm making yours tonight!

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  2. I've been told they also put a potatoe in it, have you heard that? When I make it, I put alll in crockpot and simmer all day. When the onions are soft, its usually done....Thank you for your version, will try it.
    Dena

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  3. Ok this post is really old, but for anyone who is looking for an excellent copycat recipe for Holden's stew this is IT! My fiance and I LOVE Holden's and we came across this recipe. I was skeptical since it's widely known that the recipe is top secret, but you NAILED it almost exactly. It tastes just like it. We are making a batch right now. Thank you!!!

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  4. I'm from South Carolina but moved to Illinois 2 years ago. I've been trying to find a recipe for my hometown favorite since I moved here to help fight off the bitter cold winter. Everyone is sick of hearing me rave about this stew so I'm excited to try your recipe and be able to show them what awesome tastes like. THANK YOU!

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  5. You didn't say how much onion

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  6. I'd say 1 small onion is plenty. I usually chop the whole onion and then add a cup at least. Depends on whose eating it. My son doesn't like to know he's eating onion, so I'll put less in if he's having the stew. It can vary depending on what you'd like.

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    Replies
    1. You wouldn't happen to know the Beef Hash would you?
      Also from Spartanburg now Titusville, Fl.
      Carolyn

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  7. I think the real recipe has much more onion. Very much more.

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  8. You could be right, but I'm sure they're making much more, very much more.

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  9. Wow! Delicious! Thanks for sharing! As the cooler Fall temps arrived in NC this week, made this for supper tonight (minus onions for my 11 year old son) and each of us cleaned our bowls! I fixed deviled eggs too. They both said they are looking forward to leftovers tomorrow night and to know I will be making again on these chilly nights. Lol! Thanks again & Happy Cooking! =)

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  10. I've worked at Holdens since 95, but don't remember you. All though this sounds delicious, it isn't close to our ingredients.

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  11. Didn't say what size can of evaporated milk

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. Absolutely delicious & a GREAT version of the ranch's stew. WE LOVE IT!

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