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Hey Hey, It’s a Cassoulet!

And I suppose you’re wondering just what the heck a cassoulet is.  Well, if you have a husband that loves meat as much as mine does, it’s his new favorite meal.

Cassoulet is a french dish dating back to before the 14th century.  It was traditionally considered a peasant food and was defined as a slow cooked bean stew containing meat; typically pork or fowl of some sort.  A traditional cassoulet will always have beans and most likely they will be white beans.  I also have to add that the cassoulet that I’m making below is more of a weeknight cassoulet, because I only cooked about a quarter of the time that a traditional cassoulet is cooked.  Don’t worry though, it’s still amazing delicious!

The cassoulet I made for these pictures has red beans, but only because I didn’t have white beans on hand.  And I’m sure you’ll take a look at the picture below of the ingredients and say, “But Julie, I see a can of white beans right there in your picture, are you sure you didn’t have any in your cupboard?”  To which I would reply that (and you know I have picture issues when it comes to ingredients) for this recipe, I forgot to take a picture of not just one ingredient, but of ALL ingredients.  So before I could post the recipe I had to improvise with what I had on hand at the moment and today I did indeed have a can of white beans on hand.  So there you go.  It’s not perfect, but we’ll make do.  On to the cassoulet.  Here’s what you’ll need:

1/2 Pound of Chicken (I actually used precooked chicken pulled off two bbq’d legs from a previous meal, but you can use breasts too.)
1/2 Pound of Bacon, Chopped
1/2 Pound Pork Sausage (I used 2 precooked chicken sausages in ours)
1 Onion, Chopped
2 Zucchinis, Chopped
3 Carrots, Chopped
1 28 Oz. Can of Chopped Tomatoes
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Can of White Beans
1/4 Cup of White Wine
2 Tbsp of Butter, Melted
1/2 Cup of Bread Crumbs
1 Bunch of Fresh Thyme

Start off by cooking up your bacon.  Once it’s cooked through, pull it out of the pan, chop it up, and set it to the side.

Now, in the bacon grease add your sausage and cook it up.  After about 3-4 minutes of your sausage cooking, throw in your onions and let them cook up together with the sausage.  Continue to cook until your meat is cooked through.

Now, you’re going to remove your sausage and onion and set that to the side as well.  If your chicken needs to be cooked, go ahead and throw that in next.  Cook it through and then remove it from the pan and set it aside.  I don’t have a picture of chicken cooking because I used leftover chicken that I already had precooked.

Finally you’ll want to grab your chopped veggies (the carrot and zucchini) and throw those in the bacon greased pan and cook them up for about 3-4 minutes.  You don’t want them to be mushy, just heated through.  They’ll get plenty of cook time in the oven.

Now we’re going to assemble the masterpiece.  To a large casserole dish, add your bacon, sausage, onions, chicken, veggies, tomatoes, wine, beans and garlic.  Stir it up well to combine.  Here’s what you should have so far:

And honey, if that doesn’t look good, I don’t know what does.  Throw your dish of goodness into the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, covered.  While your cassoulet is cooking, grab yourself a separate bowl and mix together your bread crumbs, melted butter, and thyme.

Now, pull your cassoulet out of the oven and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.  And here’s what you’ll have at this point:

Throw the cassoulet back in the oven, uncovered this time, and let it cook for an additional 30 minutes.  When you pull it out, here is what you should have:

Isn’t that beautiful?  Wait until you taste it.  Your mouth will think it’s beautiful too.

Hey Hey, it's a Cassoulet!

Yield: Approx. 8 1 Cup Servings

Total Time: 1 hour 30 min

Ingredients:

4-6 Slices Bacon
1 Onion, Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 Pound Sausage/span>Pork or Chicken work well
1/2 Pound Chicken, Cubed
3 Carrots, Peeled and Chopped
2 Zucchinis, Chopped
1 28 Oz. Can Tomatoes, Whole or Diced works
1 15 Oz. Can White Cannelini Beans, Rinsed and Drained
1/4 Cup White Wine
1 Bunch Fresh Thyme
2 Tbsp Butter, Melted
1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Salt and Pepper, To Taste

Directions:

Cook up the bacon on medium high heat. Remove from pan and chop.

Reserving a teaspoon or two of the grease, add the onions and garlic into the pan.

After a minute or two add in the sausage and chicken.

When the chicken is about halfway cooked through, add in the carrots and zucchini and cook until no pink remains.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the tomatoes, beans, white wine, reserved bacon, and fresh thyme. Reserve about a teaspoon of the thyme to mix with the bread crumbs.

Salt and pepper the mixture to taste. Transfer to a baking dish.

Mix the remaining thyme with the melted butter and bread crumbs.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the cassoulet.

Cover with foil and slide into an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Uncover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.