Hooray For Cassoulet!

Or at least my version of it.

The weather is absolutely beautiful right now, especially last weekend – it was in the EIGHTIES! But a couple weeks ago it was cold, overcast and drippy, which always puts me in the mood for comfort food … perfect weather for my knock off Cassoulet!

I love comfort food, anything that has to cook for a long time, that’s savory and rich, or something starchy doused in gravy, like rice or potatoes, or just anything rich and savory. And Cassoulet is practically all these things! It’s a type of bean stew, originating in the south of France, named after the earthenware dish it’s supposed to be cooked in. There are a few different versions of it, one with duck confit (Cassoulet de canard), and the history of this dish is quite interesting, but I shan’t go into it here. However, I will say that this dish is so revered that there’s even some competition in the region as to which little town actually created it. Although I’m somewhat of a foodie, and at some point in life plan to experience each version, I could care less…. I just want to eat it! With some buttery soft and fluffy corn bread and a crisp glass of Semillon. Yes.

mmm… I digress. You can use different meats if you like, but it mainly consists of some type of sausages and pork knuckles like ham hocks, or even a bits of a pork shoulder/butt, chicken, and bacon along with rich and creamy beans. As for the meats, I’ve used all sorts of sausages – pork, chicken, turkey, even blood and merguez. As for the beans, I just LOVE cannelloni beans (or white kidney beans). They’re creamy yet meaty and can really stand up to long cooking times. When I’m wanting to rush things, like this recipe, I use canned beans; my favorite for this are Bush’s. Now, I’ve never had to write out my recipes until I started this blog, and I’ve only gotten through about a third of them so far. This means that this recipes measurements, prep time, or number of servings, won’t be so exact. Please bear with me, I’m working on this and I will be better… I promise!

Meanwhile, my friend and dear brother-in-law Jim Chukalas (a great realtor with Weichert in the Newton/Freedon area of New Jersey) asked me for this back then and I completely forgot, til now! So here it is, give it a try and please let me know what you think!

Tools:

  • large dutch oven, or my personal fav, an enameled cast iron pot/dutch oven
  • wooden and slotted spoons
  • sharp knife
  • cutting board

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What you need:

  • 3 sausages: pork and/or chicken (I use both; 2 pork, 1 chicken), or any other you like; remove them from the casings
  • chicken: I prefer thighs because they hold up to long cook times better than breasts, plus… all that flava! I used 6 thighs for this recipe, skinless and deboned cut in to pieces; or 4 breasts, cut up. You can always use both white and dark meat, just add the breast towards the end