Quick Cassoulet

Wednesday 7 December 2016

I confess I have only ever really had Cassoulet once.  It was when we were visiting my son in Canada and it was delicious.  He's a good cook, and he's not afraid to try new things.  He's always been that way.  Normally Cassoulet contains duck and takes hours to prepare.  This delicious casserole uses chicken thighs and tinned beans and uses only a fraction of the time of this traditional French stew.

I adapted it from a recipe I found on the Canadian Living site.  I basically used all of the same ingredients but put them together in a different way which I felt was better.  (No offense to Canadian Living!  This is just what worked for me!)

In addition to cubed Chicken thigh meat it contains a lovely variety of vegetables . . .  onions, fennel, (I LOVE FENNEL) and carrots . . . 

Plenty of garlic and thinly sliced garlic sausage.  I picked up mine in the Polish section of the grocery shop.  I was taking my chances as I don't speak Polish and the information on the pack was in Polish, but it worked out beautifully.   Did you know there are about a bazillion different types of Polish Sausage?  Its amazing!  (And they all have Kielbasa in the title.  I reckon Kielbasa is Polish for sausage.)

A tin of chopped tomatoes goes into the mix along with a drained tin of cannellini beans.  I like to use Cirio Chopped Tomatoes in Juice.  They're fabulous! The finest Italian Plum tomatoes, carved into large  pieces designed to preserve the flavour and intensity of Italian tomatoes.  Fragrant and tasty and beautifully coloured.  I could eat them out of the tin with a spoon and sometimes do.  (Don't judge me.)

I love meals which I can throw together like this using store cupboard ingredients that go together lickety split.  This is delicious.  There is no other word for it.  It's hearty and delicious, and so simple to make.  The perfect comfort meal for a cold and drizzly day. 

It's also diabetic friendly and fairly healthy, with lots of vegetables and protein and very low carbs.  I think this will be a dish we have often here in my home.   Of course if you don't have to worry about carbs you will want to serve some crusty bread with this to mop up all of those fabulous flavours!  

*Quick Cassoulet*
Serves 6
A hearty and simple dish that will have your family scrambling for seconds.  Break out the crusty bread to mop up the drippings.  You won't want to miss a smidgen of this tasty dish! 

1 TBS Olive oil
1/2 of a bulb of fennel, trimmed, cored and coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp  fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
4 large boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite siz chunks
(about 285g or 10 ounces)
pinch salt and coarse black pepper
140g thinly sliced smoked garlic sausage (1 cup)
1 TBS flour
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice (14 ounce)
25ml water (1 cup)
1 300g tin of white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (10 1/2 ounces)
2 tsp butter
2 slices of fresh white bread, made into crumbs (about 1/2 cup)
a large handful of freshly parsley chopped (about 1/4 cup) 
Heat half of the oil in a large skillet.  Add all of the vegetables and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat, until they begin to soften.  Remove to a bowl.  Add the remaining oil to the pan.  Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.  Add to the pan, along with the sausage.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is no longer pink. 

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Have ready a large shallow casserole dish.   

Add the flour to the chicken in the pan.  Cook and stir for about a minute.  Add the tomatoes and water.  Bring to the boil, then reduce.  Stir in the thyme, rosemary and beans.  Return the cooked vegetable mixture to the pan.  Pour the whole lot into the casserole dish.  Cover tightly and bang it into the oven.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.  


Melt the butter in a clean skillet.  Add the bread crumbs.  Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the crumbs are golden brown.  Stir in half of the parsley and set aside. 

Remove the casserole from the oven.  Stir in the remaining half of the parsley.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required.  Top with the crisp crumbs and serve immediately.

I hope you will give this a go and that you enjoy it as much as we did.  Bon Appetit!


  1. Oooo, cassoulet. The first time I heard of one was in the movie, Gigi, when Louis Jourdan (one of the most handsome actors who ever lived). oooooed and aaaahed over Mamita's cassoulet. She lamented not having an goose; he promised to send her a brace. Anyway, she was cooking that cassoulet a long time, ever for a movie, and looking at it a fussing with it now and then. I could almost smell it. So I went looking for the recipe. What a dish! Since then, I've tried several different versions of it. I suspect that if you have beans, vegetables, sausages and meat altogether, you've got some form of it. Now, I'm going to try yours. Thank you for the recipe. What a dis for a cold winter night (15 degrees F. and 8" of snow on the ground, here in the desert of central Washington. The wheat farmers are VERY happy. Their winter wheat has a white blanket to keep it well through the season. Thanks, again, for sharing.

    1. You are so welcome! I loved reading your memory of Gigi. This is not a traditional recipe by any stretch, but delicious and quite reminiscent of it! And you are right, perfect for a cold winter night! xo

  2. Replies
    1. Whilst not necessarily traditional. Iniquity, this was really quite delicious! xo


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