Monday, July 16, 2012

Quick Cassoulet

The first time that I ever tasted cassoulet was in the south of France and it was one of the most amazing things that I have ever eaten.  It screamed comfort and luxury all at the same time.

It was put together in its truest form with a beautifully rich duck confi as the main event that melted in my mouth like butter. 

This dish literally haunts me and has been branded in my memory.  Though I have had a few cassoulets since,  none of them have come even close to the one I had in Nice.

When I got home I read up on cassoulets and found that the common thread was the duck confi. Well... that was going to be a dilemma for me. First, finding it in my small little town and second, paying to have it shipped was out of my reach.  This made it difficult to recreate. So I headed down another road and decided that a mock cassolulet would be better than none at all.

Surprisingly I found this quick version tremendously satisfying.  All the ingredients are readily available and together they make a wonderful one pot meal.  Smokey kielbasa, tender chicken and beans finished with a crispy bread topping that comes together quickly.

My notes to you...
I shredded up some leftover chicken from another meal to make this dish really quick.  If you don’t have leftover chicken, simply cut up a chicken breast into bite size pieces and cook it along with the kielbasa.

I like to add the liquid that the beans come in to thicken my sauce, some might not like that idea (truly it’s only flavored water and it is optional).  You can strain and rinse your beans if you choose but your sauce will be much looser.  

I also like to use a box grater for the carrot so it will cook down into the sauce giving this dish a hint of sweetness.  If you like chicken, sausage and beans, give this recipe a try!
Cook ingredients in a small dutch oven.
Sprinkle with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 min. or until browned and bubbly.

QUICK CASSOULET

1              small                     onion, chopped fine
1              small                     carrot, grated
1              clove                    garlic, minced
1              13oz.                    beef polish kielbasa, sliced
1              14 oz. can             Italian stewed tomatoes
1              14oz. can              cannellini or white beans with liquid
1 ½          pieces                   cooked chicken breast, shredded into large pieces
2              pinches                 dried thyme
¼             tsp.                       kosher salt
¼             tsp.                       black pepper
½             cup                       Italian style bread crumbs
1              Tbsp.                    olive oil

Heat a small dutch oven over med heat.  Add about 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  Sautee onions, carrot and garlic until soft (about 5 min.)  Add kielbasa and cook until lightly browned (if you are using raw chicken add it at this time).  Add tomatoes, beans, chicken, thyme, salt and pepper.  Stir to mix.

Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 min. or until the top is browned and bubbling 

6 comments:

  1. This looks so yummy, if only the computer had a smell setting. lol

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    Replies
    1. Mahalo Mohala, With technology soaring as it has been we might not be too far from that idea :)

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  2. Susan, I wonder if you could use Portuguese sausage instead of kielbasa? Just saying.

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    Replies
    1. A definite Yes! That would be delicious. Lucky you, In my opinion anything with Portuguese sausage would be yummy :)

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  3. How many servings is this? 3-4?

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