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Comforting pinto beans are slowly simmered with zesty Andouille chicken sausage, sweet bell peppers, and plenty of other herbs and spices for an easy, filling meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor.

Slow Cooker Andouille Beans and Brown Rice | ComfortablyDomestic.com

Beans and rice has been my go-to meal for years because it’s simple, inexpensive, and very versatile. I know that I can throw just about anything into a pot of simmering beans and know that the end result will be delicious. My mom calls those type of meals “Must Go Meals” because all of the stuff in the ‘fridge that “must go” gets thrown into the pot! Clearing out room in the veggie crisper adds extra nutrition to the protein-rich meal and virtually eliminates the need to throw out forgotten produce.

Before I was married and living in a sea of testosterone, I’d make a big pot of vegetarian beans and rice on a Sunday night and eat it all week long. However, all of the men-folk in my house put a quick stop to that habit until I added a little something extra to entice them. Tossing in a fair amount of chicken andouille sausage adds a little spicy kick, and ensures that my guys will ignore the extra veggies and dive right in.

Slow Cooker Chicken Andouille Beans and Rice | ComfortablyDomestic.com

This recipe is a little more than a dump & run type slow cooker recipe, but I assure you that it’s worth the little extra effort. And by effort, I’m not talking hours here, Friends. I’m talking a maximum of twenty to thirty minutes of preparation time–the majority of which can be done the night before. I’m a believer of using dried beans rather than canned because, well…they’re cheaper and far less salty.

But don’t fear the dried beans!

Dried beans come out perfectly every time, with just tiniest amount of coaxing. Give the beans a good rinse and sort before soaking them overnight in cold water. After getting the beans soaking, chop the onions, garlic, and other vegetables and then toss them in a zip top freezer bag in the ‘fridge overnight. I’ve even gone so far as slicing up the sausage and storing that in another zip top bag in the refrigerator so that I can throw everything together more quickly in the morning. Start to finish, twenty minutes of prep time–TOPS!

Crock Pot Chicken Andouille Beans and Rice | ComfortablyDomestic.com

Then all that needs to be done in the morning is to drain and rinse the beans, brown the sausage, sauté all of the vegetables, and dump it all into the crock of a slow cooker with a bunch of broth and seasonings. Pop the lid on the crock and let it all simmer on LOW heat all day long. That slow simmer will tenderize the beans and let them soak up all the other goodness going on in that crock pot. It also gives me plenty of time to educate my kids, maybe a few errands, and get through soccer practice. By the time we get home hungry and exhausted, dinner is served!

I just love opening the door after a long day and being greeted by the awesome aroma of Chicken Andouille Beans and Rice.  I also love coming home to a nutritious dinner that can be on the table rather quickly.

♥♥♥

Slow Cooker Chicken Adouille Beans & Rice

http://comfortablydomestic.com

Yield 8 to 10 Servings

 

Comforting pinto beans are slowly simmered with zesty Andouille chicken sausage, sweet bell peppers, and plenty of other herbs and spices for an easy, filling meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor.

 

Prep Time: 30 minutes, Cook Time: 6 to 8 hours, Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes.

 

For the Overnight Presoak:

1 lb. dried pinto beans

3 qts. cold water

 

For the Sausage and Beans:

1 ½ lbs. large Chicken Andouille sausage links

1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

2 C. yellow onion, peeled and diced

2 C. sweet bell peppers, chopped (red and orange peppers are nice)

1 C. carrots, scrubbed and chopped

6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

4 C. low sodium chicken broth

1 C. low-sodium beef broth

2 Tbs. light brown sugar, packed

2 dried bay leaves

1 tsp. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (or other favorite brand)

2 tsp. kosher salt, to taste (depending on Creole seasoning salt content)

1 tsp. black pepper, to taste (depending on Creole seasoning pepper content)

1 tsp. dried sage

¼ tsp. smoked paprika

 

For the Rice:

2 C. short grain brown rice

3 ¾ C. water

 

Rinse and sort the beans to remove any foreign debris. Place the beans in a large bowl, and then cover them with 3 quarts of cold water. Soak the beans for at least 8 hours overnight. The next day, drain the beans and rinse with clean water. Dump the beans into the crock of a slow cooker and set them aside.

Pour the olive oil into a large skillet set over medium heat. While the oil is coming to temperature, remove the casings from the chicken andouille sausages and then slice them into ¼-inch disks. By now the oil should be “shimmering” in the skillet. Sauté the sausage for 5 to 7 minutes or until it’s beginning to brown. Add the diced onions to the mix, continuing to sauté until the onions are soft and the sausage is well browned on both sides. Transfer the sausage and onions to the beans in the crock of the slow cooker.

Toss the carrots and sweet bell peppers into the skillet and cook them, stirring constantly, until just beginning to soften. Add the minced garlic to the vegetables, and continue to cook and stir for an additional 30 seconds. Transfer the sautéed vegetables to the crock.

Deglaze the hot skillet by pouring beef broth into it and scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour the broth and bits into the crock, along with the chicken broth and all of the seasonings. Give the whole mixture a big stir. Place the lid on the crock and cook on LOW heat for 6 to 8 hours, or until beans are tender.

Just before serving, prepare the brown rice by boiling 4 cups of water in a large saucepan. Add the brown rice, stir, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to simmer the rice until rice is tender and most of the water is absorbed—about 35 to 40 minutes.

Serve the sausage and beans mixture ladled over hot rice.

 

 

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