Cut chicken in pieces and simmer in 3 quarts of water for a THIN stew, or 2 quarts of water for a THICK stew, until meat can easily be removed from the bones, about 2 1/4 hours. Remove chicken and let cool.
Add the vegetables to the broth and simmer uncovered until the beans and potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Add the chicken deboned and diced, or in sections. Add the seasonings.
NOTE: If canned vegetables are used, include their juices and reduce water to 2 quarts for a thin stew, and 1 quart for a thick stew.
ALSO NOTE: Brunswick Stew is one of those delectable things that benefit from long, slow cooking. It is a rule in some homes never to eat Brunswick Stew the same day it is made, because its flavor improves if it is left to stand overnight and is reheated the next day.
Recipe from Chowning's Tavern in Old Town Williamsburg, Va. Taken from The Williamsburg Cookbook Typed by Dale & Gail Shipp, Columbia Md.