Fall is definitely the season for braising, and for cooking with the delicious dried beans that have just been harvested. This meal was inspired by some beautiful scarlet runner beans and a delicious bottle of Walla Walla red wine.
The night before you plan to cook, dry brine the chicken. Mix together the pepper, coriander, herbes de provence, garlic powder, and salt. Rub about a tablespoon of the mixture evenly into each piece of chicken, then put the chicken pieces, along with the rosemary sprigs, into a bowl or a shallow dish. Cover with plastic wrap and put the chicken in the refrigerator overnight.
The following morning, remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Put the beans into the slow cooker. Add the wine, and enough broth to cover the beans to about an inch deep. Add the garlic cloves, peeled, but not chopped. Chop the tomatoes and bell peppers into roughly 1 inch pieces, and lay them over the beans in the slow cooker, in an even layer. Nestle the chicken pieces on top of the beans and vegetables, pressing them down into the liquid as well as you can. Place the rosemary sprigs over the top of the chicken and cover the dish with a lid.
Turn the slow cooker to low and allow the chicken and beans to cook for at least 8 hours (mine cooked for closer to 12). If you’d like to cook it faster, turn the cooker to high and cook for at least 6 hours. Check the chicken pieces to be sure they’re cooked through before serving: The internal temperature should be 170 degrees, and when the chicken pieces are cut open, the juices should run clear and there should be no bright pink bits.
The chicken will fall apart when you serve it, which is pretty much awesome. If you can, serve a single thigh on top of a bed of beans. If you can’t keep the pieces together, just give in and shred the chicken with a fork, mixing it right into the beans. It is equally delicious that way. This is terrific served with rice, but just as filling and lovely with a simple side salad.