Recipe: Cajun Red Bean and Chicken stew
Alas, all that's in your fridge are some chicken thighs, or maybe sausage. Even a drive to the supermarket for provisions seems too much to contemplate. Restlessly you fumble through your pantry shelves. Are those red beans back there, behind the spices and rice? Beans and rice, you think, now that would be a satisfying option. You could throw in some chicken or sausage and a can of tomatoes, use up some of those spices to give the dish a Cajun sting, jazz it up with heat on this blustery day.
Yield: 7-8 cups (without rice)
Time to quick soak beans* (optional): 1 hour
Active time: 20 minutes
Simmer time (mostly unattended): 2-5 hours (depending on type & age of bean)
Cost: approx. $13
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 white or yellow onion, chopped (2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons chopped dry rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika, smoked paprika preferred
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 5 meaty chicken thighs (bone-in, skin removed)
- 1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes
- 1-3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups dry kidney or red beans, quick soaked* if desired
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Zest and juice from 1 orange (optional)
*Quick soak method: Place beans in a pot and cover with water; water should double depth of dry beans. Bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes, then turn off heat. Soak for 1 hour, covered. Rinse and use as directed.
1. In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Stir in onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until just tender. Stir in garlic, rosemary, paprika, white pepper, red pepper, black pepper and cook an additional minute.
2. Add skinned chicken thighs to pan and lightly brown on both sides. Tear plum tomatoes into large pieces and add to pot, including all juices from can. Add 1 cup of stock to pot. Stir, lifting up chicken pieces, then stir in beans.
3. Cover pot and simmer, occasionally stirring, over low heat, until chicken is tender, about 1 hour. Remove chicken from pot and cut meat from bones. Shred chicken and reserve, refrigerated.
4. Return chicken bones to pot, cover and simmer an additional 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally, or until beans are creamy and tender. (Cooking time depends on bean and age of bean.) If water evaporates, add additional stock.
5. Remove chicken bones and bay leaf. Stir in reserved chicken and re-heat meat. Before serving, stir in parsley and orange juice and zest, if using.
This recipe was written by Peggy Lampman and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on Oct. 21, 2010.