Rice and Beans Casserole
- 1 cup dried borlotti or cannellini beans
- 1 tablespoon EVOO, plus some to drizzle
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
- 2 3/4 cups chicken stock/poaching liquid from Poached Chicken, recipe follows
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped, plus more to garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
- 1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more to pass
- Finely chopped red onion, for garnish
- Poached Chicken:
- 1 whole chicken, 4 to 5 pounds
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 large fresh bay leaf
- 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- Herb bundle of parsley, rosemary and thyme
Soak the beans 4 hours or overnight.
Rinse the beans after soaking. Place the rinsed beans in a pot with 1 tablespoon of the EVOO, the celery, garlic onions and some salt and pepper. Add enough water to cover, about 1 quart, and bring to a low boil. Cook until tender, adding a bit more water if necessary, about 30 minutes. Puree half of the mixture, reserve.
Meanwhile heat the stock to a boil, then add the rice and stir. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 16 minutes, then stir in the herbs and butter. Cook 1 minute more and remove from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork.
Brown and crumble the sausage in a skillet with a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat.
Grease a large casserole dish. Combine the rice with half of the cheese, the pureed beans, whole beans, vegetables and sausage. Top with remaining cheese. Cool and cover, then store in the fridge until ready to eat.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Bring the casserole to room temperature.
Bake until heated through, top with an extra drizzle of oil, the reserved parsley and raw onions before serving. Pass the cheese at the table.Poached Chicken:
Place the chicken in a large stockpot. Add the peppercorns, celery, garlic, bay leaf, carrot, lemon, onions and the herb bundle tied with string. Sprinkle with salt. Cover the chicken with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, a rolling simmer. Simmer 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Then cool chicken in its stock. Strain the stock, discarding the vegetables. Remove the chicken in large pieces from skin and bones. Reserve the meat for another use.