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Adam Evans’ North Alabama Chicken Stew

A native of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Evans moved to Atlanta to helm the kitchen at Buckhead’s now-defunct Craftbar. His focus at the Optimist is seafood, but he still craves the earthier Southern comfort foods of home: his mom’s biscuits and gravy, his grandmother’s chicken and dumplings, and most of all, North Alabama chicken stew.

Asha Gomez’s Kerala-Meets-Brunswick Stew

Asha Gomez never knows when a new taste in Atlanta will take her back to Kerala, the lush southwestern state on the coast of India where she was born and raised.

Pano Karatassos Presents Yia Yia’s White Bean Stew

Pano I. Karatassos—wearing faded jeans and a loose T-shirt, his signature pin-striped chef's apron nowhere in sight—welcomes me into the state-of-the-art kitchen of his parents' Buckhead home. Raw vegetables, herbs, cutting boards, and cooking utensils are neatly organized in workstations, as if a television food show is about to be filmed.

Creole Catfish Stew

Hearty but not too heavy, this vibrant fish stew—inspired by one from Food & Wine magazine—is welcome any time of year, but especially on early-spring evenings when homegrown offerings are limited. It’s quick to assemble, and leftovers freeze well.

Chicken Bog

From A New Turn in the South by Hugh Acheson. HMD seeks FWR. Hearty meat dish seeks fluffy white rice. I don’t think it’s just a crush. Chicken stews love rice. It’s an affinity that needs to happen. Let’s not sully the relationship with overly complex rice.

Louis’s Brown Oyster Stew with Benne Seeds

From "The Food, Folklore, and Art of Lowcountry Cooking" by Joseph E. Dabney. For this traditional Lowcountry stew, I am indebted to the prize-winning Chef Louis Osteen of Charleston, Pawleys Island, and Captiva Island, Florida fame (and now at Lake Rabun Hotel northeast of Atlanta). He says this is one of his most popular winter soups.

Baingan Bharta

Late summer is the perfect time to make this Northern Indian stew, when eggplants and peppers are plentiful and tomatoes are still available, if not slicer-perfect. You can use any kind of eggplant. The key is to roast it first to bring out a smoky flavor. Serve with basmati rice.

Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

From "The New Southern Garden Cookbook" by Sheri Castle. The somewhat unusual combination of chicken, sweet potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, coconut, chutney, and curry has deep roots in the South, particularly in the Lowcountry, where there was ready access to imported spices and where expert cooks from many cultures stirred their own familiar ingredients into the pots.

Euharlee Crock-Pot Brunswick Stew

From "Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, and Scuppernong Wine" by Joseph E. Dabney

Brunswick Stew

From "Best of the Best from Georgia Cookbook"

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