20140121-chicken-mull-shutterstock-2.jpgWhen I went to Fort Yargo in Georgia last year, I was fed like I hadn’t been fed before and this year was no exception. As the militia boys up here said, those folks in Georgia really know how to cook! Yep and double yep. What I found interesting and totally delicious was something I never heard of before. Susie Brooks Fouts called it Chicken Stew and she said it has another name, chicken mull,  but it was not like anything I ever had before. I can’t say it was the prettiest stew I’ve ever seen but boy oh boy, it had a taste that was rich and wonderful. She said it’s a local dish whose epicenter is in the Athens area and maybe made in South Carolina as well.

I was determined to look it up and in fact, not too much is known about it. From what I can see, it was traced to Greenville County where the men would make TONS of the stuff to raise money for charity. It may have started as a fish muddle somewhere near the coast in Virginia and moved down as people migrated southward, . They also put turtle meat in with the chicken and boiled hell out of it . Anyway you look at it,  the north Georgians put their unique stamp on it to be sure, and it’s down right lip smacking good.   If you want to know the documented history of Mull or Muddle as it’s know, check out this link- most interesting .

http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/01/the-secret-history-of-chicken-mull-southern-barbecue-stew.html

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Susie described how she made it and the lady who writes the  Boonie Foodie blog has a similar recipe. Where Susie differed is that she used whole milk instead of chicken stock and a load of butter, my guess is 3 tbs  based on what I saw floating. She used Club Crackers to thicken it and I think that’s what I would used rather than Saltines. Stewing the chicken in the pot would be good but hers was liquified so I would think crock potting it or using an immersion blender would achieve the results wanted for a pulverized chicken stew. She also used Texas Pete for heat….just right!!! I guess a person could fancy it up with fresh corn, an onion, and celery  which would be unreal good and notch it up another level but it wouldn’t be tradition. Anyway you go,though, this is one heck of a true comfort soup.

boonie foodie

Chicken Mull
A Family Recipe

ingredients:
One whole roasting chicken (4-5 lbs)
2-3 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cans of evaporated milk or 3 1/2 cups milk or cream
2-3 sleeves of Ritz (or crackers of choice)
Salt and pepper to taste

directions:
Boil chicken in deep stockpot or crockpot, with enough water to cover, until meat is done and tender. Remove chicken from stock, let cool enough to handle, and shred meat from the bone. Strain stock back into cooking pot, add shredded meat, milk and additional broth. Let cook to a simmer, add crushed crackers and salt and pepper, and cook to desired thickness. Add more crackers if needed. Serve with hot sauce and extra crackers if desired.

It really is as simple as that. More crackers means a thicker mull; using milk or cream means a richer mull than using evaporated milk. It’s extremely forgiving, and very tasty.

https://wanderluck.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/chicken-mull/

Out of curiosity, I looked at 18th century cookbooks as well as Kay Moss’s ” Back Country Housewife” and “Seeking the Historical Cook”, Marty Davidson’s “Grandma Grace’s Southern Favorites” and Joseph Dabney’s “Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread and Scuppernog Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking”, and other than Hannah Glasse’s milk soup and soup made the Dutch way and Hodge Podge which was a pre 1744 southern recipe with variations, , nothing comes remotely close.

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