Slow-Cooker Red Beans and Rice
New Orleans is justly famous for its spicy, long-stewed red beans ladled over white rice. Clearly, our slow cooker had never been there.
Why This Recipe Works
Adapting our favorite stovetop recipe into Slow-Cooker Red Beans and Rice proved tricky since nothing evaporates in a slow cooker. This meant the bean “stew" couldn't concentrate, and it’s hard to produce tender beans. To build a rich base in the slow cooker, we first browned the andouille and refrigerated it. We used the flavorful rendered fat to sauté the aromatics and herbs, and then added chicken broth. This gave us an intensely flavored liquid in which to cook the beans. We used dried kidney beans in our Slow-Cooker Red Beans and Rice recipe; canned beans broke apart and turned mushy long before the broth was fully seasoned. Because the beans weren’t breaking down to make the signature velvety sauce, we removed a cup of the cooked beans, pureed them, and then stirred them back into the slow cooker with the andouille. We filled a loaf pan with rice and water, covered it tightly with foil, and nestled it in with the beans. When the beans were done, we scooped out fluffy rice at the same time.