There are few recipes I enjoy in this world more than Chicken Cassoulet. It is everything that’s good and right in cuisine. It’s incredibly comforting, hearty and meant to graze upon all day long, and the best part is that it’s actually incredibly easy to make. The first cassoulet recipe I ever made didn’t actually even have chicken in it, it had duck which is a bit more traditional French. Duck is one of my favorite things to eat, but I’m a little hesitant because I’m not sure the family would enjoy it quite as much as I would, so to not scare I went with a chicken cassoulet recipe.
If you’ve been following me for a long time or for just a bit you may have come across me saying that we are looking to eat a little cleaner. By that I mean less red meat, gluten, etc. and more plant based foods and white meat and fish. To steer clear of bacon, and man was it hard, I went with Turkey bacon and also used turkey sausage instead of a traditional garlic pork sausage that is used in cassoulet recipes. In addition to wanting to stay classic, I also have to be mindful of what my family will and wants to eat.
The beans in a cassoulet recipe are one of the most single important aspect because it serves as the base to the recipe. Believe it or not Bob’s Red Mill offers white cannellini beans, so the second I saw them pop in the grocery store, I knew I had to pick’em up. Beans serve as an excellent source of protein, fiber and iron, and not-too-mention are absolutely delicious. When working with dry beans it’s essential to soak them over night in cold water. This allows them to soften up for cooking. If you forget to do that, no problem and here’s a little secret for you; Bring some water to a boil and then pour them over the beans and let them sit for 1 hour before cooking them. You’re welcome!
The next day when it’s time to start cooking simply strain the beans and give them a little rinse. The first thing you want to do is brown off your bacon and render the fat in a large cast iron pot with a lid. Once they’re brown, remove them and add in your chicken parts. I’m a firm believer in just buying a whole chicken and breaking it down myself. It’s cheaper this and I can reserve the breast meat for my wife and daughter since they don’t care for dark meat. You want to make sure that the chicken gets really really browned up and crispy since it will be braising for a few hours and you want it to remain crisp.
Once the chicken is browned remove it from the pan and stir in your strained bean. I deglazed with a bit of white wine before adding in some chicken stock, fresh thyme sprigs and salt and pepper. You want to cook it covered up and on very low heat for a bout 35 to 40 minutes or until the beans are tender but still slightly crunchy.
Next add in your mirepoix, cooked bacon, herbs, chicken sausage and then lay the crispy seared chicken right on top. Cover it up and forget about it for 5 to 5 ½ hours on super low heat in the oven. If you’re thinking what I’m thinking then yes, you can absolutely transfer everything to a slow cooker and cook it over low heat for 6 hours to get the same effect. For me though I like the braising method in the oven since that’s where all the goodness was cooked, you know that golden brown deliciousness stuck to the bottom of the pan before deglazing. There is actually a technical term for it, it’s called fond.
Once the chicken cassoulet recipe is finished, simply remove it from the oven and scrape off any of the dried beans or any film that forms on the top before serving. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just not very pretty for presentation. Garnish it up with a little bit of thyme and you are good to indulged my friend! Thanks for reading and be sure to pick up some Bob’s Red Mill white cannellini beans from your local grocery store.
Chicken Cassoulet Recipe with Chicken Sausage
- 1 bag of Bob’s Red Mill White Cannellini Beans
- 8 ounces of roughly chopped turkey bacon
- 1 whole chicken broken down into parts
- ½ cup of white wine
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- 6 to 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 small diced stalks of celery
- 2 peeled and small diced carrots
- 1 peeled and small diced yellow onion
- 3 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 1 pound of cooked chicken sausage sliced
- 6 sprigs of fresh parsley
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Add the beans to a container and fill it with water 6 inches over the beans and sit overnight. Strain and rinse before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 275°.
In a large cast iron pot add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove.
Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper and cook them in the rendered bacon fat pot until golden brown on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pot.
Next, add in the beans and ½ of the thyme, and deglaze with white wine. Add in 4 cups of chicken stock, salt and pepper, and simmer covered over low heat for 35 to 40 minutes or until al dente.
Fold in the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, chicken sausage, crisp bacon, remaining thyme sprigs, parsley, salt and pepper and place the crisp chicken on top. Cover and bake for 5 to 5 ½ hours.
Remove from the oven and serve.