Sunday, December 30, 2007


Hearts of palm, cornishons, and radishes

Cassoulet-style chicken thighs (recipe in the comments)
Broiled tomatoes

Hot tea
Peppermint bark over peppermint ice cream
M loves cassoulet (traditionally a French stew of beans and a variety of meats, including duck and smoked game), but the complexity of the normal recipe makes it an unlikely at-home meal. This version keeps it simple, maintaining the flavors and heartiness of the traditional dish. Not incidentally, this version is also considerably lighter than one you would find in a restaurant. The one consideration with any cassoulet is that it turns out to be a very brown stew. The parsley garnish is, therefore, critical to make it appetizing and a colorful side can really help too. Broiled tomatoes or sauteed tomatoes are what we usually choose, but a colorful salad or grilled red and yellow peppers would be good choices as well.

Prep Notes
Difficulty: Moderate
Chopping: Onion, garlic, chicken, kielbasa, parsley, hearts of palm, radishes, tomatoes (halved)
Time: 1 hour for the whole meal
Make ahead: The cassoulet can be made ahead, but the tomatoes are best broiled fresh.

J: "This combination of flavors is syzygy!"
M: "French comfort in a jiffy."
L: "It was so good, I liked it so much that I don't have room for dessert."

1 comment:

J said...

Cassoulet Style Chicken Thighs – Eating Well
Serves 4-6

2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 T olive oil, divided
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into thirds
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
½ t dried rosemary
½ t dried thyme
½ t salt
½ t pepper
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup water
½ lb turkey kielbasa, sliced into ½” thick pieces
¾ cup whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup parsley, chopped

Put ½ cup beans in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large flat bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add chicken in a single layer and brown, turning once (2-3 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate.

In the same skillet cook the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened (about 5 minutes). Add rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine, increase heat to high, and cook until wine is reduced by half (about 1-2 minutes). Stir with a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits as the wine reduces. Add broth, water kielbasa, the mashed and whole beans, and the chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through 3-5 minutes. Top with crumbs and parsley (critical for color!).