I occasionally get to preview new cookbooks and every once in a while find one that really speaks to me. There’s a cookbook that will be released in late May called Soul by Todd Richards and I just love it!
Soul is such an interesting cookbook. Usually I thumb through the first 10 or 20 pages of foreward/introduction/why I cook/must-have equipment for the kitchen sections, because, well….yawn. I found myself settling in and reading what Todd Richards had to say about his family, food influences, and why he wrote the cookbook.
This isn’t your everyday what’s-for-dinner book. There are soul influences, along with creative home cooking recipes using great, specific ingredients (one entire chapter is devoted to collard greens – thus the photo on the front of the book, I guess).
Some other chapter titles are Onions, Corn, Berries, Beans and Rice, Tomatoes, and Pork and Beef, just to name a few. The recipes are genius and this book comes to me at a time that I’m looking for new and different recipes without digging into French cuisine or too weird of ingredients.
The Chicken Thighs and BBQ Beans is amazing. One great thing – it cooks in one pot! You sear and cook the chicken thighs in the pan, remove them, then add the pre-soaked beans (I used Navy beans) and the rest of the ingredients. At the end, the homemade BBQ sauce ingredients are added, the chicken is added back and everything blends together. Oh, those beans!
I remove the skin of the chicken thigh after cooking and before eating it, but that’s up to you. It’s hard for me to eat chicken skin knowing how much fat it adds to the dish.
The chicken is flavorful, but I think the beans are the star of the show. All of those vegetables (onion, green pepper, celery, garlic) mixed with the spices and liquids make wonderful, hearty homemade BBQ beans.
I definitely recommend this recipe from Soul. Other recipes I’ve tagged are Blueberry Fried Pies with Meyer Lemon Glaze, Blueberry Sweet Tea (I’m on a blueberry kick this year), Shrimp and Grits with Grits Crust and Shrimp Butter, Pork Chops with Apple Butter and Spiced Pumpkin Seeds, and Watermelon Lemonade. There are others, but I’m trying to pace myself!
Take a look at the book at the link above, where you can preview some of the recipes. If you’re looking for something different and a bit challenging, you’ll like this new cookbook.
(Excerpted from Soul by Todd Richards. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.)
- 2 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (or 4 small)
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) dried white beans, soaked in water overnight
- 1/2 C diced yellow onion
- 3/4 C diced green bell pepper (about 1 pepper)
- 1/4 C diced celery (about 1 stalk)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced and smashed
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 4 C chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch of fennel seeds (optional)
- 1/2 C packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 C ketchup
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- Pat the chicken thighs dry and sprinkle on each side with 1 tsp of the salt and 1/2 tsp of the black pepper.
- Heat the oil in a high-sided non-stick skillet (or use a Dutch oven if doubling the recipe) over medium heat. Sear the chicken thighs, skin side down, in the hot oil util golden brown, about 7 minutes.
- Turn the chicken thighs over and cook until browned, about 6 more minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and onto a plate. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
- Do not wipe out pan. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring to combine. Add the beans, chicken stock, bay leaf and fennel seeds (if using), to the pan. Bring to a boil.
- 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 1 teaspoon of salt. Return the chicken thighs to the pan, nestling them into the beans, and simmer until the chicken is done, about 10 minutes (temp of chicken should be 165° to 170°). Remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Let stand for 25 minutes. Taste for salt if needed, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and scallions before serving.
Tips and Stuff:
I used 2 huge chicken thighs and it was perfect for two people, but if you have smaller chicken thighs, use 2 more.
I think the fennel seeds are entirely optional - I would leave them out next time.
The original recipe called for: blended olive oil (don't know what that is, so used extra-virgin; dried white beans (I used Navy beans); coarse-grain mustard (I only had yellow, so used that).
Be sure and test the doneness of the chicken thighs before serving. Mine were a little underdone and I nuked them for about a minute to complete cooking because I didn't want the beans to cook any longer and get mushy.
Excerpted from Soul by Todd Richards. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 710Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 3703mgCarbohydrates: 97gFiber: 6gSugar: 64gProtein: 34g
Nutrition Values are Approximate