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French Acadian Baked Beans

Notes:

Some sources suggests adding a pinch of baking soda to retain texture of beans. Joy of Cooking Cookbook advises against cooking any vegetables with baking soda, because it destroys nutrient value and makes vegetables mushy. My Chili Lovers' Cookbook says baking soda is used to heighten bean color, but also advises against using it for the same reason. It suggests a tablespoon of peanut butter might accomplish the same thing.   I have increased simmer time for beans from 10 to about 30 minutes, because beans seemed too firm after baking.

Since the sauce is so close to Shirley's BBQ sauce, I tried substituting pork butt cuts for the chicken and used the meat and sauce for BBQ'd sandwiches. The pork was so tender it fell apart, so care must be taken to remove all small bones from the beans. I added more water during the cooking to ensure enough sauce for the sandwiches.

Source: Adapted from Yankee Magazine

1 small partridge or Cornish hen, parboiled (or, substitute small chicken, chicken breast parts)

For the beans:
1 lb pea beans

Soak pea beans overnight. Drain, refill with water to cover, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes. Drain liquid into large measuring cup and set aside.

Prepare and set aside:
1/2 lb salt pork, diced
1 large onion, whole, peeled

For the sauce:

1/4 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cps hot water
1/3 cp brown sugar
1/4 cp Grandma's molasses
1/4 cp maple syrup
1/2 cp ketchup
1 T chili sauce
2 T wine vinegar
1 T Tabasco pepper sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 t dry mustard
1 t ginger
1 t pepper
1 t salt

1. Combine sauce ingredients with drained bean liquid in large bowl.
2. Add green pepper and garlic.
3. In bean pot, put half the beans on the bottom of pot with the whole onion and half of the salt pork.
5. Put hen or chicken on top of beans, then add remaining beans to pot, then remaining salt pork on top.
6. Pour sauce mixture over the beans.
4. Bake at 250 oven for at least 6 hours. Add water to keep beans moist while cooking.