Like yams, beans are a filling and versatile staple of Kwanzaa. They’re also extremely good for you—high in fiber and rich in proteins. Beans are also incredibly diverse, and you can easily add your favorite bean to any number of soups, salads, or dips.
We love this recipe for Red Beans and Chicken with Wild Rice.
Red Beans and Chicken with Wild Rice
Originally posted on MyLifeRunsOnFood.com.
Olive oil; as needed
1 whole chicken; cut into parts; seasoned and marinated in fresh black pepper, sea salt, a dash of cayenne, 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 minced fresh garlic, a dash of red balsamic vinegar and olive oil
1 lb. plum tomatoes; diced or one 14 oz. canned chopped tomatoes
12 oz. dried red kidney beans
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 large onion; diced
3-4 carrots; diced
2-3 celery stalks; diced*
1 jalapeno; seeds and ribs discarded; diced
2 large garlic cloves; minced
1 green bell pepper; diced
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Fresh black pepper and sea salt; to taste
A dash of celery seed
1-12 oz. chicken (or pork) Andouille sausage; sliced**
32 oz. low-sodium chicken stock
(Optional) 1/2 cup red wine
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup minced fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, parsley and/or sage)
1 bunch of fresh thyme; tied with twine
2-cups flat-leaf parsley; roughly chopped
(Optional) 2-cups diced small sweet potatoes or winter squash
Cooked white, brown and/or wild rice‡
Garnish: Sliced radishes, favorite hot sauce brand, Chopped green scallions, celery leaves and/or parsley.
1. Place red kidney beans with 1/2 tsp. of baking soda in a bowl and cover with water to soak overnight. Drain and rinse. Set aside.
2. If using fresh tomatoes: Place tomatoes in a medium size pot of boiling water. Remove tomatoes after about 20 to 30 seconds, or when the skin starts to peel. When cool enough to handle, slip skins off. Roughly chop tomatoes and place in a bowl with their juice.
3. Over medium temperature in a large pot, heat olive oil until hot. Add the chicken and brown on both sizes. Remove chicken to a paper-toweled lined plate. Set aside. Dump out excess oil, reserve about a tablespoon.
4. Add the sausage slices and brown. Remove to the same plate as the chicken parts. Set aside.
5. Add onions, carrots, celery, and jalapeno to the reserved oil in the pot. When the onions are translucent, add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the green pepper, smoked paprika, sea salt and fresh black pepper.
6. Return the chicken parts and sausage slices back to the pot. Add the bay leaf, chicken stock and wine (optional). When the liquids are boiling, add the dried kidney beans. Partly cover the pot and maintain a rapid simmer. Stir occasionally.
7. After 45 minutes add sea salt, tomatoes, tomato paste, fresh herbs, thyme bunch and 1-cup of fresh parsley. Partly cover the pot and continue to maintain a rapid simmer. Stir occasionally. Adjust seasoning as needed.
8. Continue and simmer for an additional 45 minutes to one hour or until the red kidney beans or done. Time varies based on the freshness of the beans.
9. Meanwhile, cook the wild and/or brown rice.
10. (Optional) 20 minutes before the beans are done, add diced sweet potatoes or winter squash.
11. When the beans are done, stir in the remaining second cup of parsley. Adjust seasoning.
12. Serve red beans over wild rice. Use your favorite hot sauce brand. Garnish with sliced radishes, celery and/or parsley leaves.
Recipe courtesy of Sanura Weathers/Kwanzaa Culinarians