Full disclosure friends: this recipe is absolutely NOT 30 minutes or less. But, as the old adage goes, good things come to those who wait.
Is your iron low? Are you looking to bulk up – either in muscle or fat? This is the recipe for you. There are three different kinds of meat in this dish: confit chicken thighs, pork shoulder and garlic sausage. In addition, there are a mountain of white beans, a touch of tomato sauce, white wine, herbs and mirepoix.
While this dish might take a day and a half to pull together from start to finish, this recipe yields enough for twelve people, so let’s just call it #mealprep without the flavourless chicken breast and steamed broccoli.
This is classic southern French cooking at its heartiest, and it’s damn tasty. I did manage to pull this off for a weeknight dinner party, and you can do the same if you manage your time and plan accordingly. That being said, this meal practically screams, “SUNDAY DINNER!”
After 10 hours of low, slow braising in a pool of olive oil and herbs, the chicken thighs fall right off the bone and take on a melty richness that can only be achieved with patience.
In order to whip this up for a Tuesday night dinner, I marinated the chicken overnight on Sunday to pop it into the oven before heading to work on Monday and pulled it out after I got home. At that point, I brought together the rest of the meal and simply reheated on Tuesday night before guests arrived. This might seem a bit déclassé, but cassoulet is one of those things that keeps well when refrigerated prompts and sometimes even improves with age (keep a bit of extra stock on hand to return the stewy texture to the dish upon reheating, as needed).
Also, full confession, food bloggers are like celebrities in that we’re just like the rest of you. We also forget vital steps in a recipe like soaking the white beans overnight so they’re not hockey pucks to chip your teeth on in the finished product. Luckily, Google came through in the clutch and saved me from my own gross oversight. I just typed in, “What to do if you forgot to soak beans overnight” and discovered this lifesaving tip from The Kitchn.
At any rate, I do hope you choose to take on this rather ambitious recipe at some point in the near future – you won’t regret it.
Coarse fresh bread crumbs: Cut a day-old baguette or ciabatta into chunks, leaving crust attached. Whirl in batches, pulsing in food processor until broken up and large crumbs have formed. Any extra crumbs can be frozen for use in another recipe.
Recipe from: Bentz-Crowley, Marilyn. "Cassoulet." Food and Drink. Winter 2016.