March 26, 2008

Quick Cassoulet

After reading Bill Burge's (of comment about cassoulet in November, I couldn't stop thinking about that Southern French dish. For those of you who aren't familiar with cassoulet, it's a slow-cooked stew typically containing beans, sausage, duck, and lamb.

I've looked at several cassoulet recipes, but ultimately decided that it would be easier and cheaper to order it at a restaurant than make it at confit and all. Alas, I never went out for cassoulet this winter.

Instead, I made a quick version of cassoulet for dinner on Sunday--with chicken, sausage, bacon, & beans--adapted from one of those little Pillsbury cookbook pamphlets you see in the supermarket checkout lane. It's the first, and only, one I've ever bought, but I wanted to see if the recipes were any good.

I really liked this cassoulet, which is actually just a hip, fancy way to mean casserole (casserole is like so 1970s)...and I will definitely make it again.

Sausage & Chicken Cassoulet
Prep Time: 30 minutes. Start to Finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.


4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 chicken thighs
1 cup baby carrots
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
dried thyme leaves
black pepper
12 ounces Polish sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with garlic


  • Heat oven to 350.
  • In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove & drain on paper towels. Reserve 1 tablespoons of drippings.
  • Season chicken with salt, pepper, & thyme. Add chicken, skin side down, to skillet. Cook, turning once, until brown on both sides. Remove from pan.
  • Add carrots & onion, season with a pinch of salt & pepper, to pan and cook about 5 minutes.
  • In an ungreased 13x9-inch baking dish, mix sausage, beans, tomatoes, bacon, carrots & onions, and a teaspoon of thyme. Top with chicken, skin side up. Cover with foil.
  • Bake 30-45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (the juice should run clear & meat should register 180 degrees).

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