Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add the ham hock, onions, celery, and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves, thyme, and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the beans and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the beans just simmer and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the skin on the beans is tender and the beans begin to soften, about 2 hours. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add the sausage and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft and creamy, about 1 hour longer*. (If desired, the ham hock can be removed at this point and either discarded or, when cool enough to handle, the meat can be removed from the bone and returned to the beans and the bone and skin discarded.) Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and serve the beans and sausage over hot white rice.
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andouille sausage, bay leaves, bell pepper, cajun, cannellini beans, cayenne pepper, celery, chicken stock, dinner, garlic, gluten free, great northern beans, ham hock, louisiana hot sauce, lunch, thyme, time: 2 - 3 hours, vegetable oil, white navy beans, white rice, yellow onion