2cupslow sodium chicken stockplus additional as needed
1/4cupgrated or minced sweet onion
2sprigs fresh thyme
2tspdark chili powder
1 1/2tspgarlic salt
1/2tspcrushed red pepper flakesoptional
Rinse and pick over the dry beans removing any debris. Place into a large bowl and cover with enough water to allow 2-inches over the beans. Soak overnight or for 4-6 hours.
To cook: Drain the beans and place into a 6 quart dutch oven or similar size pot with bacon.
Cover with 6 cups water or enough water to have at least 1-inch over the beans.
Bring to a boil then cover. Lower the heat to just above medium. Adjust so there's enough heat to cook rather vigorously for 45 minutes. Check periodically and do not let cook dry.
Uncover and add the chicken stock, onion, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and lower the heat to medium-low. continuing to cook for 1 1/2 hours. (Check periodically and add additional stock, if needed)
After 1 1/2 hours add the chili powder, garlic salt, pepper, cumin and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix well. Cover and cook for another 30-45 minutes over medium-medium low or until the beans are soft and creamy and the liquid has thickened. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your taste.
Once cooked, allow to stand for 30 minutes. The sauce will continue to thicken while it sits.
Serve with cornbread, diced onion and chow chow, if desired.
To thicken the beans further, remove 1/2 cup and mash, then mix back into the pot.