Soups and stews are an all time favorite. They represent a maximum degree of efficiency in cooking, variety, cost effectiveness and creativity, which makes them just plain smart cooking. A generous bonus is found in the magnificent flavor. They may be rustic or fancy, simple or complicated; although I must question the soundness of making them complicated.
Place chicken and Boston butt in an extremely large pot along with one whole peeled onion, a bay leaf and one tablespoon kosher salt. Cover with water and simmer 3 to 4 hours or until both chicken and pork are shreddable. Remove chicken and pork and let cool. When they’ve cooled enough to handle, remove bones, skin and excess fat. Shred. Strain cooking broth and return to large pot.
Chop the remaining 4 onions and add to the extremely large pot. I want the meat and onions to cook all alone to give the onion flavor a chance to permeate the meat before the other ingredients were added.
Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes. Permeate, onions, permeate! After 30 minutes, add peeled and chopped potatoes. Don’t make the chopped size any smaller than an inch or the potatoes will cook to mush.
And…..here’s the rest of the gang ready for the extremely large pot. I use fresh corn, okra and butter beans if available. If not, I will substitute good quality frozen. Fresh or canned tomatoes may be used.
Add Tobasco sauce and bring to a boil. Cook for 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve hot.
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