A traditional french cassoulet is worth every bit of the time and effort it takes to acquire the ingredients and prepare this flavor intensive medley of meats and vegetables. With a focus upon trimming down the prep time and using more commonly available ingredients, I created this less elaborate recipe for two with very positive reviews; including from a two year old.
I used chicken thighs instead of duck along with a sizeable link of garlic and pork sausage from my butcher. From start to tasty finish this took about 2.5 hours. I reserved two of the chicken thighs to make Chicken with Tarragon Mustard. After the chicken baked in the oven, it looked so lovely I wanted to snack on it right then and there but I resisted and saved the chicken for the intended recipes.
Four chicken thighs
1 pork garlic, pork sausage link about 3 ounces
1 cup pancetta, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
4 sprigs parsley, leaves removed from stems
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 whole cloves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet. Add one clove of minced garlic, 1 diced celery stalk and 1/2 of the chopped onion. Saute until transparent.
- Remove the casing from the sausage and crumble into the pan and brown.
- Remove the skin from the chicken thighs. Add to the skillet containing the sausage and brown on all sides.
- In a separate skillet, brown the pancetta.
- Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Add 1/2 of the pancetta and chicken vegetable mixture to a baking pan. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth, 2 whole cloves and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon thyme. Cover the baking pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a dutch oven large enough to hold all ingredients. Saute the second, minced garlic clove and remaining chopped onion. Add the diced carrot, second diced celery stalk, 1 whole clove, 1/4 teaspoon thyme and cook for five minutes. Add the balance of the chicken broth and the cannellini beans along with pancetta held in reserve. Cook on low while the chicken is in the oven.
- After 40 minutes baking time, remove the chicken pieces from the baking pan and let cool for 10 minutes. You will wrap and store two of the thighs in the refrigerator, reserving them for the Chicken with Tarragon, Mustard Sauce. Remove the meat from the bones of other two chicken thighs and add the chicken to the dutch oven along with the remaining ingredients in the baking pan.
- Simmer all the ingredients in the dutch oven for an additional hour. Serve in a bowl and garnish with parsley. Salt and pepper to taste. Cassoulet is complete when served with a crusty, warm baguette and a nice glass of wine.