Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew Recipe

Discover the secret to irresistible comfort food! Dive into our Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew recipe for a taste of Southern nostalgia.

Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew

    Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew

  • Cuisine: American
  • Category: Main Dish, Stew
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories: 250 calories

The Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew offers a heartwarming journey into the soul of Southern American cuisine, where the aroma of simmering comfort fills your kitchen, and each spoonful of stew brings a taste of home. A dish inspired by the cherished Phil Holden's Spartanburg, SC restaurant. Let's dive into the culinary secrets that will transform your kitchen into a haven of flavors.

At the heart of this stew lies the chicken, a star player in its own right. Whether you opt for a whole baked or boiled chicken, the key is in the transformation. It's all about the art of shredding, creating a soft, almost ethereal texture that ensures every bite is a tender delight.

But what truly makes Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew fan favourite is its luxurious, creamy base. Here, regular milk is joined by an ensemble of canned evaporated milk, resulting in a velvety canvas. Add to this a hint of depth and richness with chicken bouillon cubes, and a dollop of cream of chicken soup—now you have the essence of comfort itself.

Balance is the name of the game, and this stew plays it perfectly. A touch of sweetness, courtesy of a tablespoon of sugar, harmonizes gracefully with the savory notes. The addition of finely chopped onions, a pat of butter, and a medley of salt, pepper, and paprika complete the symphony of flavors.

One of the beauties of this recipe is its flexibility. You can adjust the thickness of the stew by simply varying the amount of cream of chicken soup. Whether you prefer a lighter, more broth-like consistency or a creamier delight, you have the creative freedom to make this beloved dish your own.

Now, let's talk about patience. Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew rewards those who simmer it gently, on low to medium heat. This is where the magic happens as the flavors meld, intermingle, and create a harmonious culinary experience. It's a dance that requires a watchful eye and a gentle touch to prevent any scorching.

Ultimately, this dish is not just about the ingredients and the process. It's about the memories it conjures. Whether you're a Spartanburg native, a newcomer to this beloved recipe, or simply seeking the comfort of homemade goodness, a steaming bowl of Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew, accompanied by saltines and a dash of hot sauce, is an invitation to savor the taste of home, no matter where you find yourself.

So, why wait? It's time to bring the magic of Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew into your own kitchen. Let the enticing aromas fill your home, and let every spoonful be a reminder of the warmth and comfort that only homemade dishes can provide.


Lets indulge in the ultimate Southern comfort with our Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew recipe. A taste of home, right from your kitchen!


  • 1 whole baked chicken (or a boiled one, as you prefer)
  • 3 cans of evaporated milk
  • Approximately 1 quart of milk
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 chicken bouillon cubes (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 can of cream of chicken soup (for desired thickness)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (for a touch of sweetness)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper (adjust to taste)
  • A few dashes of paprika (for flavor and color)

Method Instructions

  1. Begin by picking all the meat from the whole chicken, ensuring it's finely shredded. This is a crucial step for the stew's texture.
  2. In a large pot, sauté the chopped onion in butter until it becomes translucent and tender.
  3. Add the 3 cans of evaporated milk and approximately 1 quart of regular milk to the pot. Also, dissolve 1-2 chicken bouillon cubes in the mixture. Stir constantly and let it simmer on low for about 20 minutes until the milk mixture is hot.
  4. Now, add the finely shredded chicken to the pot, followed by the sugar, salt, black pepper, and a few dashes of paprika. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.
  5. Continue simmering the stew for an additional 10 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
  6. Finally, add 1/2 to 1 can of cream of chicken soup based on your preference for thickness. Stir well and let the stew simmer for another 10 minutes on low-medium heat.
  7. Once you achieve your desired temperature and consistency, your Holden's-inspired chicken stew is ready to enjoy!

Feel free to adapt this recipe further based on your tastes and what ingredients you have on hand. A bowl of this stew with saltines and hot sauce is a delicious and comforting meal that brings a taste of home to wherever you are. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew

This is a video about Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew.

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Recipe Tags: Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew, Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew Recipe, Recipe


Serving Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew is all about comfort and customization. Here's how you can serve this delicious stew:

  1. In a Cozy Bowl: Ladle a generous portion of the warm and creamy Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew into individual serving bowls. Choose bowls that evoke a sense of homey comfort.
  2. Garnish with Freshness: To brighten up the stew and add a pop of color and freshness, consider garnishing each bowl with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley or chives. This not only enhances the presentation but also adds a burst of flavor.
  3. Accompaniments: Traditionally, this stew is often enjoyed with simple, complementary accompaniments. Place a stack of saltine crackers on the side, allowing your diners to add some crunch and saltiness to each spoonful. Additionally, a few dashes of hot sauce are a classic way to customize the heat level to your liking.
  4. Family-Style Dining: If you're serving this stew to a group of family or friends, consider placing the pot of stew in the center of the table along with the accompaniments. This creates an inviting family-style dining experience where everyone can help themselves to seconds.
  5. Sides: While Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew is hearty on its own, you can also serve it with a side salad or some crusty bread for a more substantial meal. A simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing pairs well with the stew.
  6. Comfort and Conversation: Finally, remember that this stew is not just about the food; it's about the warm, comforting atmosphere it creates. Serve it with love, and enjoy the company of your loved ones as you savor each spoonful. It's a dish that invites conversation and leaves hearts content.

Ultimately, how you serve Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew is a matter of personal preference. Whether it's a quiet dinner at home or a gathering of friends and family, this stew is sure to bring comfort and satisfaction to the table.


  1. Shredding the Chicken: As mentioned in the recipe, take your time to shred the chicken finely. The texture of the chicken is a critical element in achieving the desired consistency of the stew. Use two forks or your hands to shred it effectively.
  2. Flexibility with Ingredients: Don't be afraid to customize the recipe to your taste. If you prefer a thicker stew, add more cream of chicken soup. Conversely, if you like it thinner, adjust the amount of regular milk accordingly. Feel free to experiment with the seasoning levels too.
  3. Low Heat for Simmering: When simmering the stew, maintain a low to medium heat level. This gentle simmer allows the flavors to meld without the risk of burning. Stirring occasionally is key to ensuring the stew cooks evenly.
  4. Taste and Adjust: Taste the stew as it simmers and adjust the seasonings as needed. Remember, cooking is an art, and your taste buds are the ultimate guide. If you feel it needs more salt, pepper, or a touch of sweetness, go ahead and add it gradually until it suits your palate.
  5. Storage and Reheating: This stew reheats wonderfully, making it a great option for leftovers. Store any extra stew in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When reheating, do so gently over low heat to maintain the creamy texture.
  6. Garnish Creatively: While fresh parsley or chives make excellent garnishes, feel free to get creative with toppings. Grated cheese, crumbled bacon, or a dollop of sour cream are all delightful options to consider.
  7. Share the Experience: Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew is a dish meant to be shared. Invite family and friends over to enjoy it together, or make a larger batch for gatherings and potlucks. It's a crowd-pleaser.
  8. Sides and Complements: Consider serving this stew with a side salad, cornbread, or garlic bread for a complete meal. The sides can complement the creamy richness of the stew and add variety to the dining experience.
  9. Experiment and Make It Your Own: Don't be afraid to experiment with this recipe. Try different herbs and spices, or add vegetables like peas or corn for extra flavor and nutrition. Make it your own culinary masterpiece.

Ingredient Substitutes

Substituting ingredients can be a useful way to adapt this recipe based on your dietary preferences or what you have available in your kitchen. Here are some ingredient substitutes you can consider for Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew:

  1. Chicken: If you don't have a whole chicken, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs instead. They cook faster and are easier to shred.
  2. Evaporated Milk: If you're looking for a lighter option, you can substitute some or all of the evaporated milk with low-fat or skim milk. Alternatively, you can use a dairy-free milk like almond or soy milk if you have dietary restrictions.
  3. Cream of Chicken Soup: If you prefer a from-scratch approach or want to avoid canned soups, you can make your own cream of chicken soup. Combine chicken broth with a roux (butter and flour) and seasonings until it thickens to your desired consistency.
  4. Sugar: If you'd like to skip the sugar or use a healthier alternative, consider using a bit of honey or maple syrup. Keep in mind that these alternatives may impart a slightly different flavor profile.
  5. Seasonings: Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste. You can experiment with different herbs and spices, such as thyme, rosemary, or cayenne pepper, to customize the flavor of the stew.
  6. Butter: If you're looking to reduce the fat content, you can use a lower-fat butter substitute or even olive oil.
  7. Hot Sauce: If you're not a fan of hot sauce, you can omit it altogether or replace it with a milder hot sauce or a dash of your favorite hot pepper seasoning.
  8. Saltine Crackers: While saltine crackers are a classic accompaniment, you can serve the stew with other types of crackers or crusty bread for added texture and flavor.
  9. Garnishes: Get creative with garnishes based on your preferences. Chopped scallions, grated cheese, crispy bacon bits, or a dollop of Greek yogurt can all add unique touches to your stew.


As you savor each spoonful of Holden's Ranch Chicken Stew, may the warmth of home fill your heart. Happy cooking and happy memories!

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