16-feb-Vday

Chef

French Obsession: Cassoulet, the Dish That is a True Labor of Love

What could be a better tribute and service than to cook for the one you love? With a “Slow Food Theme” in mind, we bring you a recipe for cassoulet. HOBNOB had the joy of attending an event at Jimmys No. 43 in NYC, and experienced what French folks in Gascony cherish as a yearly indulgence. Tradition dictates a personal interpretation of this conglomeration: fresh beans, meats, veggies. Kate Hill, author of Cassoulet, a French Obsession, and resident of Gascony, provided a history of this glorious dish. This ex-pat now teaches and houses those interested in French fare, charcuterie and butchery on her farm, Kitchen at Camont. (go!) Cassoulet is cooked over the course of two days, with a focus on fresh beans with a joining of local specialities. What really stood out for me was the lightness of this comfort food—feeling much cleaner than, say, a typical stew. The chef on the scene, Paul Austin, and owner of The Missing Ingredient catering company, provided the extraordinary fare for the event. He shares his recipe here. And—tying in to our Valentine love-fest the slogan for his company is: specializing in the missing ingredient: love. Spread the love.

Cassoulet with Chicken and Andouille Sausage

2 LB dry pink beans

chicken stock, low sodium
1 bay leaf

2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/4 bunch parsley, chopped
olive oil

1 LB slab bacon, diced
2 LB andouille sausage, sliced
8-10 pieces chicken thighs
s + p
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped

2 CUPS cremini mushrooms, diced
1 CUP onion, sliced
1/2 CUP celery, diced
1/2 CUP carrots, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

Soak beans covering with 2 inches of water 8 hrs. or overnight. Drain and rinse beans.

Cook beans in chicken stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and the down to a simmer 1- 1.5 hrs. until tender. Strain beans saving liquid. Salt and pepper liquid to taste. Don’t over salt.

Mix panko and parsley 2 tbsp olive oil in bowl. Place on the side.

Heat Dutch oven on stove top. Render diced slab bacon on med to med high heat until crispy (without burning). Remove bacon and put to the side leaving bacon fat in pot. Render sausage until light brown color, remove and put to the side. Season the chicken thighs with salt, fresh cracked pepper, and fresh rosemary and just enough olive oil so rosemary can stick to chicken.

Brown the chicken in same fat that you did the bacon and sausage in, on both sides cooking about 80%. Remove chicken place on the side.

Sauté cremini mushrooms med hi heat for 3- 5 min, with slight color. Add onions, celery, carrots and garlic and sauté 5- 7 mins until the onions are translucent. Add half the beans and sauté 2 -3 mins more. Remove pot from stove.

Spread beans evenly on bottom of pot. Add layering bacon, chicken, and then sausage. Cover with remaining beans. Add stock just covering beans. Put back on stove and bring to a simmer.
Remove from heat. Sprinkle panko parsley mix evenly on top. Place in 400° for 20 mins until golden brown. Press panko crust into liquid and place back in 350° oven for 20-30 min until top is crusted.

Remove from oven. And enjoy.