Monday, May 12, 2014

Comforting Cassoulet

I love comfort food. Especially on cold, chilly nights, or days when life has been rough and everyone's moods and tempers need to settle down and be quieted. Baked Mac-n-Cheese, A bowl of Zuppa Toscana or Chicken and Dumplings comes to mind. But honestly, this Cassoulet is up there with pure goodness, pure comfort. This is an adaption from Julia Child's Cassoulet, you could use any sausage that you wanted ( I did Kielbasa because it was on sale at the store), and really you could add any veg that you would like. Serve with a good crusty bread and preferably a nice glass of wine.
Chicken Cassoulet

10 bone in Chicken thighs
1 large onion (chopped)
8 garlic cloves (chopped)
3 T. Herbs du Provence
2 15oz cans White beans (for one of the cans, you want to mash up the beans very well, the other can, the beans will be left whole, this makes a gravy that is nice and thick!)
1 lb. pkg of Kielbasa or other sausage
1/4 cup red wine
1 cup chicken broth
2 T. dijon mustard
1 cup bread crumbs fried in 2 T. bacon fat
salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a good, hot pan, heat up about 3T. olive oil in a pan and in batches, cook your chicken thighs. I season mine with salt and pepper on both sides. Don't worry about cooking through, the goal is just to brown both sides. Place thighs in a roasting pan when browned.

 In the chicken juices, cook up chopped onion, chopped garlic until browned and soft. Add the Kielbasa and brown through. Next add the can of whole white beans and just heat through, turn off the heat.

 In a separate bowl, mix the mashed beans, red wine, chicken broth, Dijon mustard, 2T. of the Herbs du Provence, salt and pepper. Stir well and add to the onion, sausage, and bean mixture. Once incorporated, pour oven the chicken thighs and sprinkle the remaining 1 T. of Herbs du Provence. 

Cover and bake in the oven for about 50 mins. Uncover and sprinkle the bacony bread crumbs over the entire dish and serve.

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” 
― Julia ChildMy Life in France

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