Quick Cassoulet

So maybe that’s an oxymoron.  A traditional cassoulet is a one-pot meal of various meats and beans that cooks all day.  In The French Chef Cookbook, Julia Child says this about cassoulet: “you can prepare it in one day, but two or even three days of leisurely on-and-off cooking make it easier.”  I was watching Rachel Ray a week or so ago and she made cassoulet in 30 minutes.  Now that’s something I can deal with.  Three days, Julia?  Not happening at my house.

The big-time carnivores in the house LOVED this.  DH declared, “Wow!  You can make this again!”  DH even had leftover cassoulet over eggs the other morning, proclaiming that combination a winner as well.  I based my cassoulet on Rachel’s recipe.  If you cook for carnivores, be sure these items are on your next grocery list:

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1-1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 links pre-cooked chorizo, cut on the diagonal into bite-sized pieces (any spicy sausage will do)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • coarse salt and pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed  (use a garlic press)
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in 1/4 inch coins  (I guesstimated the equivalent in baby carrots.)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes in puree
  • 2 cans white beans

Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat.  Brown Italian sausage and set aside.

Add chicken, salt, pepper and thyme to the pot and brown on all sides.

 Add veggies, garlic and bay leaf.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Deglaze (loosen any yummy browned bits on the bottom of the pan) with wine.

Add sausage and chorizo to the pan, stir to combine.

Add tomatoes and beans.  Continue cooking until heated through.

That’s it!  If you have time to let the cassoulet stew a bit longer, the flavors will blend and deepen, making this a great meal for those with busy schedules and family members eating at different times.  We dished it up into bowls and served it with fresh bread rolls (in a nod to “real” cassoulet, which often has a bread topping of sorts). 

Once again, spring has some stormy weather and cooler temperatures in store for the end of the week here in Western Colorado.  Quick Cassoulet is the perfect dinner for a cool, rainy night.  Yum-yum-yummy!

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