bean queen

With work and school and practices, weekday meals need to be simplified. One of the most delicious, simple meals I make is red beans and rice. It is especially good when it’s cold outside, but if it is not, we just crank up the AC and pretend.

It is important to start with the right kind of beans. You can’t go wrong with Camellia. Rinse one bag of beans under cold water in a colander and then add to a dutch oven or large pot. Cover the beans and add one extra inch of water. Cook them over medium heat on the stove. And don’t forget the salt and black pepper… add about one teaspoon of each to the water. Oh, and garlic. I cheat and buy the kind that is already chopped. I use about 2 or ten teaspoons depending on my mood.

While the beans are cooking, get chopping on the sausage and onion. I always use Conecuh hickory smoked sausage because it is half the diameter of regular sausage but tastes twice as good.

Slice them up (I use a whole pack) and cook them in a sauté pan over medium low heat. Add one chopped yellow onion and cook until translucent. Drain. (You can boil the sausage for about five minutes instead of frying it. The point is to render some of the fat before adding to the beans. Greasy beans are gross. We all know that.)

Once your beans start to boil, make sure they have plenty of water (remember the extra inch). I usually let them boil for about an hour. Once they stop taking water (like the Christmas tree we bought two days after Thanksgiving), add the sausage and onion. Cook on low until they reach the desired consistency. You know what I am talking about. Some people like their beans runny and some like them thick. The longer you cook them, the thicker they will be. Just don’t forget to stir them frequently, or you will have burned beans and NO people like those.

You can stop there and serve them over regular rice (with corn bread, of course), or you can go the extra mile and make chicken and rice. Most people have never heard of such a thing. This is the way my daddy has always made them and trust me, they are delicious. Boil a couple or three chicken breasts in salted (about a teaspoon) water until done. Remove the chicken and then add rice (Zatarains parboiled rice is foolproof) and one tablespoon of butter to the boiling water. Cook as directed. Notice I didn’t tell you how much rice. You really just have to eyeball it based on the amount of broth in the pot. If you want to make more rice, add more water. You can do it. I believe in you.

While the rice is cooking, chop up the chicken and set aside. When the rice is done, add the chicken and some black pepper back to the pot. Go ahead and throw in some more butter if you are feeling crazy. Mo butter less problems… unless we are talking health problems.

Serve the beans over the chicken and rice and chow down. If you prefer spicy, don’t forget the Crystal hot sauce.

*This recipe can also be done in a crock pot. If you decide to go that route, cook the beans (and garlic) on high for a few hours and make sure there is at least one inch of water above them. Add the (parboiled or sautéed) sausage and onion and cook on low for the rest of the day.

**This recipe can also be doubled. I made this for some friends in December, and doubled the recipe. Unfortunately, I didn’t double the size of my pot and the beans did not get completely done. New tradition… Crunchy Christmas beans! Kidding. Use a bigger pot if you want to keep your friends.

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  1. I have this recipe in the crockpot for dinner tonight. Hope it turns out as good as your pictures look. 🙂

  2. This looks so good! I want to try it, not sure I can get my hands on those specific beans though. Maybe I can order online.