- 2 1/4 pounds smoked turkey legs or thighs
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 pound dried white beans, such as navy or cannellini, soaked overnight and drained
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cus dried bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
Using a sharp knife, score the turkey pieces about 1/4-inch deep in several places. Place the turkey in a large soup pot or stockpot and add the chicken broth, Essence, cayenne pepper and bay leaves. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the turkey, covered, until falling-from-the-bones tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin and bones. Tear the meat into bite-size pieces and set aside. Reserve stock separately.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil until hot. Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and 2 teaspoons of the thyme and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and 6 cups of the reserved stock (add water if necessary to bring the volume up to 6 cups) and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the beans are tender but still firm enough to hold their shape, about 1 1/2 hours. The beans should be moist but not soupy. (If the beans are too soupy by the time they are tender, strain the beans and return the cooking liquid to the fire until reduced to a thick sauce consistency. Return the reduced cooking liquid to the beans.) Stir the reserved turkey meat into the beans and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a large ovenproof casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl combine the remaining thyme, bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, chives, and basil. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and stir with a fork until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the herb-bread crumb mixture evenly over the beans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the beans are bubbly around the edges.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William Morrow, 1993.