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Chicken and Beans Fall Stew

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    Chicken and Beans Fall Stew

    I know, that doesn’t sound right. Tried something new yesterday. And I definitely have a new recipe. Couldn’t decide if it should go under Poultry, Beans, or Chili ..... naaaaa, it’s obvious. It’s the beans that shine through.

    I have got to tell you, the Rancho Gordo Marcella beans were amazing. Some of the best beans that I’ve ever had .... Cannot wait to cook more with these.

    My wife insists on calling this a chili because of the flavors from the cumin and salsa and the beans in it. I think it is more of a stew, but I used beans instead of potatoes. It also reminds me of an Italian soup a little bit, probably because of the white beans and tomato sauce.

    For those concerned, this isn’t overly spicy. It gets a mild bit of spice kick from the salsa verde, but not over the top at all.

    I’m gonna have to find a good name for it, though. Cause, as much fun as it would be to tweak our Chili Purist friends, I can’t bring myself to call it Chicken Chili.

    PS this is also not BBQ, if you were looking for smoked or grilled something. Although you could do the chicken on the grill/smoker first, if you wanted.

    Anyway, here’s the backstory. It’s the first fall weekend and here in Washington it feels like fall. Kinda cold, rainy, chilly mornings, sometimes get some sun in the afternoon. I’ve cooked a lot of good smoked and grilled meat over the last month, or so, and decided to do something different. I did what I usually do for “something different” and I rummaged around in the freezer and the pantry.

    • Some chicken thighs that needed to be cooked
    • Some frozen chicken stock (I put chicken stock in quart freezer bags, about 3 cups worth in one bag, and then freeze it. Works great)
    • Bag of Marcella beans from Rancho Gordo (Just got them, haven’t tried them yet)
    • A lonely bottle of Kona Longboard Lager
    • Bottle of Goya Salsa Verde medium strength
    • Can of tomato sauce
    I figured I could do something with that. So I just put things together and cooked them. Turned out good. My wife urged me to write it up so I don’t forget. Figured I would share it here, too. Here’s the measured ingredients for those of you that want to do it yourself and don’t want to just throw this and that in the pot

    Chicken Stew
    • 2 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in - about 5 oz each
    • 2 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless - about 7 oz each
    • 3 cups chicken stock
    • 1 cup Lager (I drank the rest)
    • 8 oz Salsa Verde medium (Goya is awesome, but any green sauce)
    • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 2 bay leafs
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 lb dry beans (Rancho Gordo Marcella, Cannellini, White Northern, Navy, etc) or 1 can (if you don’t want to cook from scratch (but why wouldn’t you?)
    • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 bay leaf
    You’re going to cook both of these at the same time. If you insist on using canned beans, I would suggest you add the beans ingredients to the chicken stew about 1 hour before finished. Not being a canned beans guy, not sure better than that.

    Beans method
    1. If these are not Rancho Gordo beans, then you need to pre soak them before the next step.
    2. Add (soaked) beans to a decent cooking pot, for this quantity I use a 2 quart saucepan
    3. Add tomato sauce and cumin and bay leaf
    4. Add enough water to cover beans by about 1 inch total
    5. Bring to boil over high heat, boil for about 5 minutes
    6. Reduce heat to very low, creating a bare simmer by adjusting the heat and the lid
    7. A bare simmer means that the liquid will be forming 2-3 bubbles per minute, no more. You want this cooking to be very gentle. You want the beans to cook and form a great stock, but you don’t want to be rough with them, breaking the skin, etc
    8. When you reach Step 10 in the Stew, you are going to add the beans to the stew. Don’t just dump them, which will break/injure the beans. Spoon them from the saucepan into your stew. Then add the stock from the beans. You want this, trust me!
    Chicken Stew method
    1. Salt the chicken liberally with the kosher salt. Do this as much as an hour prior, but a long dry brine really isn’t needed since you are stewing the chicken.
    2. Add olive oil to a heavy pot or Dutch oven, get hot over medium heat
    3. Brown chicken until skin is crispy and golden brown and fat from thighs is rendering
    4. Reserve the chicken, add the cumin and bay leaf and cook 1-2 minutes, until aromatic
    5. Add the beer and scrape all browned bits off the bottom of the pan
    6. Add the stock and salsa and stir in well
    7. Return chicken to pot and reduce heat to low, you want this to just be simmering to braise/stew the chicken
    8. Cook until chicken is tender and falling off bones, about 90 minutes
    9. Pull chicken from pot, remove skin, debone, chop/pull chicken into pieces about 1”
    10. Return chicken to pot
    11. At this point the beans ought to be ready to be added from that process, go ahead and add them
    12. Reduce heat to very low, adjust lid as needed, to keep the stew with beans cooking at a bare simmer. Should be forming no more than 2-3 bubbles a second. More than that will damage the beans and you don’t want that.
    13. Continue cooking until beans are done. Beans are done when they are tender enough to easily bite through and do not have any sort of crunch. Stop cooking at this point, or they will get mushy and you don’t want that.
    14. Serve with desired toppings (I like diced tomatoes and avocado, could do shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, etc)
    15. Serve with adult beverage of choice. We had a glass of Syrah, but could be a beer, wine, whatever. Something that goes with the spice of the stew.
    Chicken in Dutch oven stewing/braising
    Click image for larger version  Name:	8EE57A88-80D6-4DB1-A071-0D09842C7B05.jpeg Views:	9 Size:	2.98 MB ID:	916961

    Beans just done boiling and returning to a simmer .... they look a bit shrunk and crinkly .... totally normal
    Click image for larger version  Name:	F91ECCAE-3E4D-4A65-AA08-0A27E411AACA.jpeg Views:	9 Size:	3.14 MB ID:	916965

    Beans are simmering, waiting to go in the stew pot
    Click image for larger version  Name:	FA26EAFB-E933-4EAC-8FCA-FA35D6D6D2EF.jpeg Views:	10 Size:	2.71 MB ID:	916960

    Chicken shredded and returned to stew
    Click image for larger version  Name:	B5CFB5DB-E4CF-45BF-BF41-44FA777812A4.jpeg Views:	9 Size:	3.06 MB ID:	916962

    Beans have been returned to stew
    Click image for larger version  Name:	6176443A-E733-4143-8C15-D7358BFC4F83.jpeg Views:	9 Size:	3.25 MB ID:	916964

    In a bowl, with some diced tomato and avocado and a glass of wine
    Click image for larger version  Name:	1B4B9A7B-1EA7-472C-A57C-81712843CDF2.jpeg Views:	9 Size:	2.87 MB ID:	916963
    Last edited by ecowper; September 27, 2020, 11:52 AM.



      Sounds fantastic, great write up!


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        It was just perfect for yesterday, too

      • Red Man
        Red Man commented
        Editing a comment
        ecowper Yup. I made chili yesterday, definitely that kinda day.

      Mighty tasty lookin'.


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        It was really good ..... about to have some leftovers for lunch!

      Looks great!


        Thank you, this looks wonderful!


        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          I really liked it. For first try at a new recipe, it came out great

        Think I may try it with some RG cranberry beans I have on hand.


        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          It would be great with Cranberries ..... I like those too. Highly suggest ordering the Marcellas!

        Great looking comfort food.


          I am so going to cook this recipe. Thank you, ecowper for the excellent writeup and photos. It's not even 9am and I want to eat that. Long wait until suppertime.



          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            I've still got some in the fridge, waiting for it to get to lunchtime :-)

          Yes, fall is in the air and stews/soups are coming back to the dinner table. Though we're getting another heat wave in So. Cal this week - 100 degrees. Still though, gonna make Carolina Fish Stew tonight. We have it on the menu.

          Thanks for the pics and in-depth write up.


            I love how this recipe involve what you had on hand. those are the best soup salads and stews. these look great!



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