TRADITIONAL FRENCH CASSOULET RECIPE
To make traditional French cassoulet at home, substitute fresh chicken for duck confit, build flavor in the beans, and add gelatin to form a crisp crust.
Provided by J. Kenji López-Alt
Categories Mains Sausage Soups and Stews
Number Of Ingredients 16
- In a large bowl, cover beans with 3 quarts water and add salt. Stir to combine and let sit at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse beans and set aside.
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Place stock in a large liquid measuring cup and sprinkle gelatin over the top. Set aside. Heat duck fat (if using) in a large Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering. Add salt pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl, leaving rendered fat in Dutch oven, and set aside. (If not using duck fat, cook pork with no additional fat.)
- Season chicken pieces with pepper (do not add salt) and place skin side down in now-empty pan. Cook without moving until well-browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip chicken pieces and continue cooking until lightly browned on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to bowl with salt pork.
- Add sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until well-browned on both sides. Transfer to bowl with salt pork and chicken. Drain all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot.
- Add onions to pot and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook until onions are translucent but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add drained beans, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, cloves, and stock/gelatin mixture. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce to low, cover Dutch oven, and cook until beans are almost tender but retain a slight bite, about 45 minutes.
- Using tongs, remove carrots, celery, parsley, bay leaves, and cloves and discard. Add meats to pot and stir to incorporate, making sure that the chicken pieces end up on top of the beans with the skin facing upwards. Beans should be almost completely submerged. Transfer to oven and cook, uncovered, until a thin crust forms on top, about 2 hours, adding more water by pouring it carefully down the side of the pot, as necessary, to keep beans mostly covered.
- Break crust with a spoon and shake pot gently to redistribute. Return to oven and continue cooking, stopping to break and shake the crust every 30 minutes until you reach the 4 1/2 hour mark. Return to oven and continue cooking undisturbed until the crust is deep brown and thick, about 5 to 6 hours total. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts : Calories 612 kcal, Carbohydrate 39 g, Cholesterol 110 mg, Fiber 9 g, Protein 36 g, SaturatedFat 12 g, Sodium 2651 mg, Sugar 3 g, Fat 35 g, ServingSize Serves 6 to 8, UnsaturatedFat 0 g
Categories Bean Duck Pork Poultry Tomato Bake Dinner Casserole/Gratin Sausage Fall Winter Gourmet Dairy Free Peanut Free Tree Nut Free Soy Free
Yield Makes 6 to 8 servings
Number Of Ingredients 21
- Soak and cook beans:
- Cover beans with cold water by 2 inches in a large bowl and soak 8 to 12 hours. Drain in a colander.
- Transfer beans to a 6- to 8-quart pot and bring to a boil with 8 cups cold water, broth, tomato paste, onion, and 2 tablespoons garlic. Put celery, thyme, bay leaf, cloves, parsley sprigs, and peppercorns in cheesecloth and tie into a bundle with string to make a bouquet garni. Add bouquet garni to beans, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until beans are almost tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir in tomatoes with juice and simmer until beans are just tender, about 15 minutes more.
- Prepare duck and sausage while beans simmer:
- Remove all skin and fat from duck legs and cut skin and fat into 1/2-inch pieces. Separate duck meat from bones, leaving it in large pieces, and transfer meat to a bowl. Add bones to bean pot.
- Cook duck skin and fat with remaining 1/4 cup cold water in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until water is evaporated and fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until skin is crisp, 3 to 6 minutes more. Transfer cracklings with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, leaving fat in skillet. (You should have about 1/4 cup fat; if not, add olive oil.)
- Brown sausage in batches in fat in skillet, then transfer to bowl with duck meat, reserving skillet.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Make bread crumb topping:
- Add remaining tablespoon garlic to fat in skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until pale golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chopped parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cracklings.
- Assemble casserole:
- Remove bouquet garni and duck bones from beans and discard, then stir in kielbasa, duck meat, remaining teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Ladle cassoulet into casserole dish, distributing meat and beans evenly. (Meat and beans should be level with liquid; if they are submerged, ladle excess liquid back into pot and boil until reduced, then pour back into casserole dish.) Spread bread crumb topping evenly over cassoulet and bake, uncovered, in lower third of oven, until bubbling and crust is golden, about 1 hour.
- Available at some butcher shops and D'Artagnan (800-327-8246).
HOW TO MAKE CASSOULET
This is the world's greatest baked bean recipe, and a classic French dish; it's almost the national dish. It's perfect for a cold winter night.
Provided by Chef John
Categories World Cuisine Recipes European French
Number Of Ingredients 26
- Soak Great Northern beans in water in a large bowl overnight. Drain beans and place into a large soup pot. Push whole clove into the 1/2 onion and add to beans; stir in garlic, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, and 10 cups water. Bring beans to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until beans have started to soften, about 1 hour. Drain beans and reserve the cooking liquid, removing and discarding onion with clove and bay leaf. Transfer beans to a large mixing bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Cook bacon in a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium heat until lightly browned and still limp, about 5 minutes. Stir celery, carrots, and 1/2 diced onion into bacon; season with salt. Cook and stir vegetables in the hot bacon fat until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat; brown sausage link halves and duck confit in the hot oil until browned, about 5 minutes per side.
- Season vegetable-bacon mixture with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, cracked black pepper, and herbes de Provence; pour in diced tomatoes. Cook and stir mixture over medium heat until juice from tomatoes has nearly evaporated and any browned bits of food on the bottom of pot have dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir mixture into beans.
- Spread half the bean mixture into the heavy Dutch oven and place duck-sausage mixture over the beans; spread remaining beans over meat layer. Pour just enough of the reserved bean liquid into pot to reach barely to the top of the beans, reserving remaining liquid. Bring bean cassoulet to a simmer on stovetop and cover Dutch oven with lid.
- Bake bean cassoulet in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add 4 crushed garlic cloves, panko crumbs, and parsley to the melted butter. Season with salt and black pepper, and drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over crumbs. Stir to thoroughly combine.
- Uncover cassoulet and check liquid level; mixture should still have several inches of liquid. If beans seem dry, add more of the reserved bean liquid. Spread half the crumb mixture evenly over the beans and return to oven. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. There should be about 2 or 3 inches of liquid at the bottom of the pot; if mixture seems dry, add more reserved bean mixture. Sprinkle remaining half the bread crumb mixture over cassoulet.
- Turn oven heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and bake cassoulet, uncovered, until crumb topping is crisp, edges are bubbling, and the bubbles are slow and sticky, 20 to 25 more minutes. Serve beans on individual plates and top each serving with a piece of duck and several sausage pieces.
Nutrition Facts : Calories 524.3 calories, Carbohydrate 54 g, Cholesterol 81 mg, Fat 23.7 g, Fiber 11.1 g, Protein 30.9 g, SaturatedFat 8.7 g, Sodium 1208.1 mg, Sugar 3.3 g
Provided by Food Network
Yield 10 to 12 servings
Number Of Ingredients 18
- Fill a large pot with the water and bring to a boil. Add the beans, bring back to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the beans soak in the warm water for 1 hour.
- Place the slab of bacon, one third of the onions, and the bouquet garni bundle in the pot with the beans and bring to a simmer, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Simmer, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until beans are just tender, adding water if necessary to keep the beans covered while cooking. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid, saving the bacon, and discarding the herb bundle.
- Cut the lamb into 2 inch chunks, removing excess fat, and pat dry. Pour the duck fat into a heavy, 8 quart casserole, and heat until almost smoking. Brown the meat, in batches, on all sides, and set aside. Lower the heat, add the remaining onions, and saute until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the pureed garlic, tomato puree, thyme, and bay leaves, and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add white wine and reduce by half.
- Return the lamb to the casserole along with the brown stock, salt and pepper, and stir well. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer slowly for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until fork tender.
- Remove the meat and reserve. Remove all but 2 tablespoons fat and adjust the seasonings.
- Pour the cooked beans into the lamb cooking juices. If necessary, add the bean cooking liquid so that the beans are well covered. Bring to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking juices.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Slice the bacon into 1/4 inch pieces. Arrange a layer of beans in the bottom of the casserole, then continue with alternating layers of lamb, and duck, ending with a layer of beans. Pour enough of the meat and bean cooking juices over the top so the liquid comes just to the top layer of beans. Mix the bread crumbs with the parsley and spread over the top. Drizzle with the duck fat.
- Bring the casserole to a simmer on the stove, then place it in the oven. After about 20 minutes, when the top has a light crust on it, turn the oven down to 350 degrees F. Break the crust with a spoon and baste the casserole with the liquid. Bake for about 40 more minutes, and continue to baste as the crust reforms, but leave a final crust for serving. Serve warm from the casserole.
Provided by Food Network
Yield 4 to 6 servings
Number Of Ingredients 15
- Drain the beans and put into a large heavy casserole, preferably enameled cast iron, with bacon, pork rind, garlic, 1 onion, the carrot, and the bouquet garni. Cover with the 10 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring often, until beans are barely tender, about 1 hour. Drain and return to casserole, discarding onion and bouquet garni.
- Add the remaining onion, the duck legs, demi-glace mixture, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.
- Drain the bean mixture in a colander over a bowl and reserve 5 cups of the cooking liquid. Discard bacon and pork rind. Remove the duck legs and cut each in half at the joint. Season beans with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grindings of pepper.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place half the bean mixture in casserole. Add duck legs, duck sausage, and garlic sausage, and cover with remaining beans. Add reserved cooking liquid and drizzle the duck fat over the top. Cover and bake until hot and bubbling, about 2 hours. (Cassoulet may be prepared ahead to this point, then cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature before proceeding).
- Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Uncover cassoulet and bake until top is browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.
JACQUES PEPIN'S CHICKEN THIGHS
Tasty, simple French cooking from the master. This is from his More Fast Food My Way. If you aren't familiar with his books, look for them. I love Fast Food My Way and Sweet Simplicity.
Provided by Pesto lover
Categories Chicken Thigh & Leg
Yield 4 serving(s)
Number Of Ingredients 8
- Preheat oven to 175F.
- Cut extra skin and fat off each thigh. Cut a 1/2 " slit into meat on either side of the bone, so that chicken will cook faster and evenly.
- Season thighs with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.
- Place chicken into non-stick skillet, skin side down, on high heat.
- When chicken starts to sizzle, cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 16-18 minutes. If browning too quickly after 10 minutes, reduce heat to low.
- Transfer chicken, skin side up, to a heat proof platter and place in oven to keep warm. Pepin recommends keeping your serving plates in the oven so that they will be warm when you plate the chicken.
- Remove all but 2 tbsp of fat from the skillet. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms. Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and white wine. If any liquid has accumulated on the platter in the oven, add that liquid to the pan.
- Cook over high heat for 1 minute, to reduce the liquid a bit.
- Divide the mushroom mixture between 4 plates. Place one piece of chicken on top and garnish with chives to serve.
Use up any cans of beans you have in the cupboard for this classic French sausage casserole. Made in a slow cooker, it's a great batch-cook for the freezer
Provided by Liberty Mendez
Categories Dinner, Main course, Supper
Number Of Ingredients 16
- Set the slow cooker to low (ours had a 5-litre capacity). Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and brown the sausages on each side - you don't have to cook them all the way through. Set aside on a plate. Put the lardons, onion and celery in the pan and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 mins until the onion is translucent and the lardons crisp. Stir in the garlic, paprika and thyme, and fry for 3 mins.
- Pour in the wine and simmer until reduced by half, around 5-10 mins. Tip in the chopped tomatoes, stock, both lots of beans, the sugar and vinegar. Stir until combined and bring to the boil. Pour into the slow cooker with the sausages. Cover and cook for 6-8 hrs. Serve with crusty bread.
Nutrition Facts : Calories 501 calories, Fat 29 grams fat, SaturatedFat 9 grams saturated fat, Carbohydrate 27 grams carbohydrates, Sugar 11 grams sugar, Fiber 10 grams fiber, Protein 24 grams protein, Sodium 2.5 milligram of sodium
MICHAEL LEWIS'S CASSOULET DE CANARD
Categories Bean Duck Lamb Tomato Bake Dinner Casserole/Gratin Bacon Sausage Goose White Wine Spring Winter Simmer Gourmet Dairy Free Peanut Free Tree Nut Free Soy Free
Yield Makes 10 servings
Number Of Ingredients 22
- DAY 1 Act 1: Nasty Work
- Bring 5 quarts water to a boil in an 8-quart heavy pot. Boil beans, uncovered, 1 1/2 minutes, then turn off heat and let them soak 50 minutes.
- While beans soak, do all the really disgusting work with the meat. Put pork rind in a 3-quart saucepan three-fourths full of cold water and bring to a boil. Boil pork rind 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold running water, then do it again. (Sometimes you know it's ready because it grows nipples.) After draining, cut the truly repulsive boiled pork rind into pieces that are big enough to identify (about 2 inches), so you can fish them out before serving.
- Scrape off and discard fat from confit duck legs and shred meat (the more it shreds the better). [Editors' note: Those who have no problem with identifiable meat in their food might want to keep the shredding to a minimum.]
- Act 2: Slightly Less Nasty Work
- Put parsley stems, thyme, whole cloves, and 8 garlic cloves in cheesecloth and tie into a bundle to make a bouquet garni.
- First seasoning of beans: Add rind pieces, bacon halves, 1 cup onion, bouquet garni, and salt to beans. Simmer, covered, 1 1/4 hours, skimming regularly. Cool, uncovered.
- While beans simmer, brown mutton bones. Do this by heating goose fat in enameled cast-iron pot over moderate heat until it smokes, then cook mutton bones, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Set them aside on a plate. Drop remaining 2 cups onion into pot and brown that, too. This can take as long as 15 minutes. Stir regularly.
- Peel seed, and chop tomatoes.
- Act 3: Nasty Gets Nice
- Flavoring the meat: Add browned bones and shredded duck to onion. Add bay leaves, beef stock, tomatoes, remaining 4 garlic cloves, white wine, and pepper. Simmer, covered, 1 1/2 hours. Cool to room temperature,uncovered.
- Put pot with meat and pot with beans in refrigerator, covered, overnight.
- DAY 2 Act 1: Crescendo (1 hr)
- Poke holes in sausage with a fork and grill it slowly in a well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately low heat 20 minutes (to get the fat out). (Sausage should still be slightly undercooked on the inside when you're done.) Transfer to a cutting board and cool slightly. Slice into thin (1/4-inch) rounds.
- Remove and discard bones and bay leaves from meat pot. Remove duck with a slotted spoon and put on a plate. Reserve cooking liquid remaining in pot.
- Remove bacon from beans and cut into tiny, fat-free pieces. Put pieces on a plate and discard remaining bacon fat. Discard pork rind and bouquet garni from beans.
- Julia Child says: "Now is the time to drain the beans and dump them into the ample, leftover meat cooking juices." In my experience, there is nothing left to drain. What you are looking at, when you stare into the bean pot, is a fairly solid wall of beans, with some gluey goop in between. So, pour reserved meat cooking juices into bean pot. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, and simmer 5 minutes, skimming any scum. Then turn off heat and let sit another 5 minutes.
- Act 2: Final Assembly
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Spread a layer of beans on bottom of enameled cast-iron pot. Layer half of sausage and bacon on top, then another layer of beans, then half of duck (and any mutton), then another layer of beans, et cetera, ending with a layer of beans. Then add enough remaining liquid from bean pot until beans are submerged. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and parsley.
- Bring the whole thing to a simmer, uncovered, over moderately low heat. Then stick it in oven 20 minutes. Break through bread crumbs in several places with a spoon, allowing the liquid to mess up the look of the thing. Then reduce heat to 350°F and leave it in another 40 minutes. Serve very hot.
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- Pour the olive oil and the water into a large saucepan. Add the Italian sausages and cook over medium to high heat for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to roll the sausages over so they cook on all sides.
- When most of the moisture has evaporated and the sausages are browning, add the onion, scallions, and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Then add the beans with their liquid and the herbes de Provence, Tabasco, kielbasa and Canadian bacon. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes. Set aside off the heat.
- Meanwhile, process the bread in a food processor to produce 1 1/2 cups of crumbs. Lightly toss the bread crumbs with the corn oil.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Divide the Italian sausage, kielbasa and Canadian bacon among four large (2 1/2 cup) ovenproof soup bowls. Cover with the beans and juice, filling the bowls to within 3/4 inch of the rims. (Make sure the beans are submerged in liquid; add water or chicken stock if necessary to make the mixture slightly "soupy," because it tends to dry out in the oven.) Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the beans. Arrange the bowls on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cassoulet is bubbling and very hot. If you want the crumbs a little browner, turn on the broiler and broil until just browned.
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