It took me about 7 years to perfect this recipe. I wanted to make sure it was that amazing! Red beans and rice are a staple in every New Orleans household, even if you’re making them from a can. Everybody eats red beans, even if it’s not Monday! I make these a little healthier by using turkey sausage and smoked turkey necks, but feel free to use smoked sausage and ham hocks. These red beans are creamy and flavorful and will transport you to New Orleans with each bite.
For the smoked turkey neck stock: Place the smoked turkey necks and 2 tablespoons salt in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Drain and return the turkey necks to the pot. Add the bay leaf and cover with 10 cups of water. Bring to a simmer, then keep warm while you prepare the red beans ingredients, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the turkey necks and reserve the stock. Set both aside.
For the red beans: Heat the oil in an 8-quart heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Stir in the celery, onions and peppers and cook until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic and bay leaves and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the red beans, smoked turkey sausage, Worcestershire sauce and the reserved turkey necks. Add enough turkey stock to fully cover the beans (about 8 cups) and reserve any remaining stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally to keep the beans from sticking, until the beans are tender, and the turkey necks are falling apart, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Uncover the pot, smash some of the beans on the side of the pot with the back of a large metal spoon to make them creamy, then cover and cook for 30 minutes more (see Cook’s Note).
Meanwhile, combine the cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon pepper in a small bowl. Combine the green onions and parsley in a small bowl or on your cutting board. Stir the seasoning mixture into the finished beans, taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.
To serve, spoon the beans over a plate of cooked rice. Garnish with the green onions and parsley mixture, sprinkle with hot sauce to taste and serve with garlic bread.
To soak 2 pounds of dark red kidney beans, add them to a large bowl and fill with enough water to completely cover the beans. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The beans will split when properly soaked. Drain before using.