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.  Yes, it was made in its truest form with a beautifully rich duck confi as the main event and I'm sure that it was the duck that made it taste like perfection, so much so that the memory of this dish literally haunts me and has been branded in my mind.  Even though I have searched, I have never tasted another cassoulet that has come even close to my first.  That trip to Europe was a once in a lifetime trip and that cassoulet was one of my once in a lifetime meals. 

After reading through several recipes thinking about trying to repeat it.  I always stop myself in my tracks because I haven't been willing to fork over the dough or the time that it takes to make a proper cassoulet.  Truth be told, I only want one serving, or maybe one and a half servings J of that amazing cassoulet and not a boat load that would burst my memory.  Someday I will return to that restaurant in Nice and indulge in one of their wonderful cassoulets.  But until then... I will have to satisfy my craving with this quick version.

Surprisingly I have 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.

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.
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 


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

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

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

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

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