Chicken & Sausage Cassoulet
Pulses are awesome y’all.
The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. How cool is that?! But, what are Pulses exactly? Glad you asked…
I’m so existed to have partnered with the fantastic Pulse Pledge program this year. Pulses are dry beans, dry chickpeas, lentils, and dry peas. Total superhero ingredient! They’re incredibly delicious, sustainable, healthy, and budget-friendly. So much win! From chili to curry, and here in a cassoulet, pulses have an extra-special ability to elevate simple, home-style recipes to wholesome rock star dishes.
Make your 2016 The Year of Pulses, take the #pulsepledge, and start to incorporate this deliciousness into your weekly meal plan. You’ll feel better, eat better, and hep folks all over the world eat/live/thrive. For more information on the Pulse Pledge, and a treasure trove of recipes to help start you on your pulse journey, head to Pulsepledge.com.
This Chicken & Sausage Cassoulet is my take on a classic French comfort food dish. It may take a little extra time to prepare, but it’s well worth the wait. Serve with a nice glass of white wine and a fresh baguette, and you’ll imagine you’re relaxing in the French countryside. Heaven!
Chicken & Sausage Cassoulet
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 pound dry navy (or cannellini) beans
6 mild Italian sausages
4 whole chicken leg quarters
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ pound smoked bacon strips, cut into 1/2 –inch pieces
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves picked + 5 whole sprigs
1 large onion, finely diced
1 leek, rinsed, halved, and cut into half-moons
2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 large celery rib, finely sliced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1-quart chicken stock
Zest of ½ a lemon
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Add the dried beans to a large bowl and cover them water. Let sit at room temperature overnight. The next day, drain and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Heat a large high-sided oven-safe skillet (or Dutch oven) over medium-heat and pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausages and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Season the chicken legs liberally with salt and pepper, and pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into the pan. Brown the chicken on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside
In the hot pan, still over medium-heat, cook the bacon until it just starts to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, leek, thyme leaves, celery, and carrot and cook, stirring often, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the veggies just begin to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the bay leaf, pour in the white wine, and cook until the liquid has almost vanished, about 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, stock, lemon zest, and beans, and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium high, and bring to a rapid boil. Remove from the heat.
Arrange the sausages and chicken in the pan, in one layer, submerging half of the meat into the sauce. Top with fresh thyme sprigs and transfer to the oven.
Cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until the chicken easily falls away from the bone and the sauce has thickened beautifully. Serve with crusty bread, mashed potatoes, polenta, or anything perfectly suited to sop up that saucy goodness.