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Author Notes: If you find yourself with a jar of preserved lemons, set some aside for this stew. The combination of pungent lemon, creamy beans, silky greens, and a rich chickeny broth is perfect for a winter's day. This is also a great example of stretching a little bit of meat to feed a lot of people: one pound of bone-in, skin-on chicken legs will generate enough flavor to satisfy six to eight eaters. Serve this with bread or couscous, if you like, for soaking up all the flavorful juices. - ieatthepeach
- 1 pound dried cranberry beans
- 5 cups water, plus more for soaking the beans
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, plus more to taste
- 1 bunch (about 3/4 lb) red chard, thoroughly washed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes, or to taste
- 1 small preserved lemon, rinsed and minced
- Bread or couscous for serving (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place the beans in a large bowl, and pour over about 2 quarts water, or enough to cover by at least 2 inches. Add salt and stir until dissolved. Let the beans soak for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours (or overnight). Once the beans have soaked, drain and rinse them thoroughly, and set aside.
- Cut the chard leaves away from the stems; roughly chop the leaves, and thinly slice the stems. Set aside.
- In a Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken lightly on both sides with salt and pepper, then add to the pot and brown thoroughly on both sides. Transfer the partially cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat under the pot to medium. Add onions and chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, or until fragrant. Add 5 cups water, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, paprika, and chile flakes, and stir to combine. Add beans, reserved chicken pieces, and any juices that have accumulated on the chicken plate.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to keep the liquid at a steady simmer. Cover partway with a lid and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender but still slightly firm and the chicken is almost falling off the bone. Remove the chicken from the pot, transfer to a plate, and set it aside.
- Add chard and preserved lemon to the pot, and stir until the chard wilts. Simmer, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened and the chard and beans are tender. If the stew seems to be getting dry before the beans are done, add a splash of water. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks and bay leaf.
- Pull or cut the chicken meat into bite-sized pieces; discard bones and skin. Return the chicken meat to the pot, along with any juices that accumulated on the plate. Stir until the meat is heated through. Taste and adjust the salt as needed–you probably won’t need much, since the preserved lemon is plenty salty.
- Ladle the stew into bowls, and serve warm with bread or couscous (if desired). Leftovers will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for 4-6 months.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Beans
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chicken
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best One-Pot Meal