It was a cold, windy weekend here in New York. My husband and I had to huff it home in the pouring rain Friday night after we went out for some delicious Thai food in Williamsburg. I was wearing canvas sneakers, of course, so by the time I got home my shoes and socks were complete soaked, as were my jeans and my jacket. It was not very much fun! At the same time, though, it was kind of fun, because that would never have happened in Arizona, as we had cars and never really experienced much weather because we would go straight from the house to the car to our destination. Our new place in Queens, however, is 8 short blocks from the subway, so you get the full effect of crappy weather, as well as beautiful weather, like today, which is supposed to be sunny and 62 degrees. Thank goodness, because I’m going into the city to get my hair cut today!
When the weather is dreary, there’s nothing I love more than a comforting meal that you can eat from a bowl that also doubles as a hand warmer! These stovetop “baked” beans do exactly that. Now, usually, you get everything together and then allow the beans to simmer in the pot while in the stove for two hours or so, but I was really hungry and wanted it done a bit quicker than that! I had made beer can chicken the night before, so I used the leftovers from that to make this. After soaking and simmering the beans, all I had to do was throw everything together and wait for 1 hour while the flavors melded together and the chicken fell right off the bone. The taste of these beans are beyond words, to be honest. My husband is never hugely taken aback by anything I cook (he’s spoiled), but he looked at me and said, “These are freaking delicious!” If that’s not a big compliment, I don’t know what is. What boy doesn’t love barbecue beans, though? These beans were just a tiny bit spicy (thanks to the chipotle chilies), tangy, and sweet, which is just how barbecue should be, I think. This was also my first time using dried beans, if you can believe it. I always thought that it was such a pain to have to soak beans overnight, but it was really, really easy and all you have to do is know that you’ll be making something with them the next day! Someone commented on a post here a week or so ago asking if I knew that some types of canned beans had high fructose corn syrup in them, and I was pretty surprised! I decided to try my hand at dried beans, because that way I can completely control the sodium and other additives in what I’m eating. All you have to do with dried beans is soak them for at least 8 hours, or overnight, and then boil them for 20 minutes or so before you add them to whatever you’re cooking. That’s not so bad, right? And if it’s better for you and your family, it’s worth the tiny bit of extra effort. Kramer and I ate these as a meal on their own, which was super filling and a joy to eat, but these would also make a great side dish at your next get together.
Combine your sauce ingredients, which consist of the brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and tomato paste. Set aside.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot, then add in the sliced onions and garlic and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
When you dice your chilies, make sure you include the sauce that sticks to them, as well as the seeds.
Add in the sauce, chicken, chilies, bacon, beans (after having drained and boiled them for 20 minutes), pepper, and 1 cup of chicken broth. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and allow to cook for about an hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Add in more chicken broth if needed.
Taste for seasoning, remove the chicken bones (if necessary), and enjoy!
- 2 cups leftover chicken, shredded (you can also just boil chicken thighs/breasts and shred them or just drop them in the pot and the meat will just fall off the bone if you use a thigh or drumstick)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pound kidney beans, soaked for 8-10 hours (or overnight)
- 10 slices bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces and cooked
- 3 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced (including the sauce that sticks to them and the seeds; also, I used 5 chipotle chilies because I like things VERY spicy. Start with 2 chilies and see how you do, then add more if you like.)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 to 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Make sure you soak your beans for 8 hours or overnight. Then, decide what kind of chicken you're going to use (you can also use pork). I used a drumstick and breast from some leftover roasted chicken that I made the night before, but you can also use rotisserie chicken or boil some chicken thighs or breasts for 20 minutes or so, until cooked. The breasts you'll need to shred, but after they're cooked, you can just drop the thighs into the pot with everything and the meat will fall right off the bone (this is what I did). The bones will also add some additional flavor to the beans.
- Combine your sauce ingredients, which consist of the brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and tomato paste. Set aside. Drain your beans and add them to a medium sized pot. Fill the pot with just enough water to cover the beans, then bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot, then add in the sliced onions and garlic and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. When slightly softened, add in the chicken, sauce, chilies, bacon, beans, pepper, and 1 cup of chicken broth. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and allow to cook for about an hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Add in more chicken broth if needed.
- Taste the beans and adjust for seasonings (I added in a dash more Worcestershire sauce). Remove the chicken bones (if necessary) and enjoy! Serves 5-6 as a meal.