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Monday, June 16, 2008

Roast Chicken with White Bean Stew

Beans, beans
Good for your heart
Beans, beans
GREAT for your heart!
-- from the "Bean Cafe" skit on SNL


We had finished gorging on the heavenly porchetta from Roli Roti at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer's Market. Now we came to the real reason for going to the market - Rancho Gordo's heirloom beans :

After talking with the Ranch Gordo bean evangelists, Annie bought several packets of different kinds of beans, including kindney beans, Navy beans, and their most popular seller, Cannellini beans. We brought them home, and Annie found a recipe on Epicurious that she decided to adapt.

Roast Chicken with White Bean Stew

2 cups dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 skinless chicken thigh pieces
6 ounces bacon, chopped
1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 small carrot, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 bay leaf
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup dry red wine
6 cups low-salt chicken broth

2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel

1. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

2. In a large dutch oven, brown the chicken thighs in olive oil over medium-high heat, then set aside.

3. Brown some bacon and then sweat the chopped garlic, diced onion, fennel, bell pepper, celery, and carrot in the pot.

4. Add the red wine, the drained beans, and the chicken stock to the pot. Settle the chicken back into the pot along with a couple of bay leaves and bring the pot to a boil before putting it in the preheated oven.

5. Cook the stew in the oven for an hour and a half until the beans are cooked through.

6. Remove the pot from the oven, then stir in the two tbsp of tomato paste to combine

7. Chop the rosemary and parsley, and zest the lemons with a Microplane grater. Mix the gremolata together and set aside.

8. Serve in individual bowls, chicken atop the beans. Garnish with the gremolata.

This stew had great flavor and texture. The chicken was really tender. But it was the lemon zest in the garnish that really brought it alive.

Beans, beans, the magical fruit.
The more you eat, the more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you feel.
So let's eat beans for every meal!