Chicken Thighs and BBQ Beans by Todd Richards

Photographer Greg DuPree, Prop Stylist Claie Spollen, Food Stylist Margaret Dickey
Soul, cookbook, Todd Richards,

BBQ beans are a meal unto themselves. They have a meaty quality that absorbs bold ingredients such as Worcestershire sauce and red pepper flakes. Caramelizing the thighs in the same pan you’re going to cook the beans is essential to building the flavor of this dish.

Serves 2

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons blended olive oil
1 pound dried white beans, soaked
in water overnight
2 cups diced yellow onion (from 2 onions)
1 1⁄4 cups diced green bell pepper (from  2 bell peppers)
1⁄2 cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)
4 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 1⁄2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
6 cups (48 ounces) chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1⁄8 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1⁄2 cup ketchup
1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons coarse-grain mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 scallions, thinly sliced

  1. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 1⁄2 teaspoons of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the black pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium. Sear the chicken thighs, skin side down, in the hot oil, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Turn the chicken thighs over, and cook until browned, about 5 more minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan.
  3. Add the beans, onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes, chicken stock, bay leaves, and fennel seeds to the pan; bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar, and remaining 2 1⁄2 teaspoons salt into the pan. Return the chicken thighs to the pan, and simmer until the chicken is done, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
  5. Let stand for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon black pepper and scallions before serving.

To Drink: Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti Classico, honey wine, Northern Rhône red, red blend, Rioja Reserva, amber beers, light beers, hard ciders, coffee beverages, IPAs

Serve with: Green salads; braised or roasted vegetable dishes; smoked or roasted meats;  rice dishes