Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora

Red Beans and Chicken with Wild Rice

Red Beans and Chicken with Wild Rice

There’s a bean and rice version in every African Diaspora cuisine. Pigeon peas are commonly in Dominican, Haitian and Puerto Rican recipes. Black beans are found in Latin America dishes. Cow peas or black-eyed peas are mostly associated with Hoppin’ John dishes in American Southern cuisines. In Louisiana, particularly within the Creole culture, red kidney beans are a popular choice. Traditionally served as a simple Monday meal with leftover pork bones from a Sunday dinner, Red Beans and Rice only needs a few herbs and spices. In this version of red beans and rice, chicken and turkey Andouille sausage is added for more flavor. Instead of classic white rice, a wild rice blend is used for its nutty flavor and texture, increasing the health value of this recipe. The resulting clean and robust taste is proof that classic American Southern cuisine can be healthy, too.

Red Beans and Chicken with Wild Rice
Originally posted on

Olive oil; as needed
1 whole chicken; cut into parts; seasoned and marinated in fresh black pepper, sea salt, a dash of cayenne, 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 minced fresh garlic, a dash of red balsamic vinegar and olive oil
1 lb. plum tomatoes; diced or one 14 oz. canned chopped tomatoes
12 oz. dried red kidney beans
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 large onion; diced
3-4 carrots; diced
2-3 celery stalks; diced*
1 jalapeno; seeds and ribs discarded; diced
2 large garlic cloves; minced
1 green bell pepper; diced
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Fresh black pepper and sea salt; to taste
A dash of celery seed
1-12 oz. chicken (or pork) Andouille sausage; sliced**
32 oz. low-sodium chicken stock
(Optional) 1/2 cup red wine
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup minced fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, parsley and/or sage)
1 bunch of fresh thyme; tied with twine
2-cups flat-leaf parsley; roughly chopped
(Optional) 2-cups diced small sweet potatoes or winter squash
Cooked white, brown and/or wild rice†
Garnish: Sliced radishes, favorite hot sauce brand, Chopped green scallions, celery leaves and/or parsley

Wild Rice

1. Place red kidney beans with 1/2 tsp. of baking soda in a bowl and cover with water to soak overnight. Drain and rinse. Set aside.
2. If using fresh tomatoes: Place tomatoes in a medium size pot of boiling water. Remove tomatoes after about 20 to 30 seconds, or when the skin starts to peel. When cool enough to handle, slip skins off. Roughly chop tomatoes and place in a bowl with their juice.
3. Over medium temperature in a large pot, heat olive oil until hot. Add the chicken and brown on both sizes. Remove chicken to a paper-toweled lined plate. Set aside. Dump out excess oil, reserve about a tablespoon.
4. Add the sausage slices and brown. Remove to the same plate as the chicken parts. Set aside.
5. Add onions, carrots, celery, and jalapeno to the reserved oil in the pot. When the onions are translucent, add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the green pepper, smoked paprika, sea salt and fresh black pepper.
6. Return the chicken parts and sausage slices back to the pot. Add the bay leaf, chicken stock and wine (optional). When the liquids are boiling, add the dried kidney beans. Partly cover the pot and maintain a rapid simmer. Stir occasionally.
7. After 45 minutes add sea salt, tomatoes, tomato paste, fresh herbs, thyme bunch and 1-cup of fresh parsley. Partly cover the pot and continue to maintain a rapid simmer. Stir occasionally. Adjust seasoning as needed.
8. Continue and simmer for an additional 45 minutes to one hour or until the red kidney beans or done. Time varies based on the freshness of the beans.
9. Meanwhile, cook the wild and/or brown rice.
10. (Optional) 20 minutes before the beans are done, add diced sweet potatoes or winter squash.
11. When the beans are done, stir in the remaining second cup of parsley. Adjust seasoning.
12. Serve red beans over wild rice. Use your favorite hot sauce brand. Garnish with sliced radishes, celery and/or parsley leaves.
13. Enjoy.

About Sanura of

In 2009, Sanura Weathers started a sweet, savory, buttery, green and healthy food blog at As a Food Writer and Graphic Designer, Sanura creates a visually appetizing food blog redefining comfort and traditional recipes with a healthy twist. Sanura also edits and curates writers for


This entry was posted on December 13, 2011 by in 2011, Recipe and tagged , , , , , , .

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

%d bloggers like this: