I ended up having a more hectic week last week than intended, including one sick kid and another with a birthday. So all my meals did not pan out. However, Monday night’s French Bistro night was delicious and made plenty so that we were able to enjoy leftovers another night and lunch. Cassoulet is usually prepared with duck legs, bacon, and sausage and takes the better part of a day to prepare. I made mine with chicken thighs and keilbasa which greatly reduced the cooking time. It was a hearty, soul warming dish perfect for a chilly, rainy fall night. We started with some store bought pate and french bread and enjoyed a nice red wine along with our meal. We finished off our meal with a Pear Tarte Tatin.
Recipe: Quick Cassoulet
- 2 tbs Olive Oil
- 1 lb Keilbasa – sliced in 3/4 inch chunks
- 1 lb Chicken Thighs
- 2 medium Onions – chopped
- 2 medium Carrots – chopped
- 2 stalks Celery – Chopped
- 3 large Garlic Cloves – minced
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 stalks Thyme
- 8 oz. White Wine
- 28 oz. Chicken Broth
- 14 oz. chopped Tomatoes in Juices (recommended Pomi)
- 2 tbs Tomato Paste
- (2) 14 1/2 oz. can Northern Beans – drained and rinsed
- Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
- Fresh Parsley Breadcrumbs (recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven (I used my Le Creuset 5 1/2 Quart Braiser) over medium-high heat. Brown keilbasa. Once browned remove to a plate.
- Rinse, pat dry and season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add to oil in pot and brown on all sides. Remove to plate with keilbasa.
- Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves and thyme to pot and cook over medium-low heat until soft. Increase heat to medium-high and add in white wine, deglazing the pot, and then simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add in chicken broth, tomatoes with juices and stir in tomato paste. Bring to a boil.
- Add back in chicken and keilbasa. Add in beans and bring back to a boil.
- Cover and place in oven. Cook in oven 25 minutes. Make breadcrumbs.
- Once 25 minutes have passed, remove lid. Top evenly with breadcrumbs and return to the oven uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Serve with sliced fresh crusty bread.
Meal type: dinner
- 1/3 of a loaf of Crusty French Bread – roughly chopped
- 2 tbs Fresh Parsley – chopped
- 2 tbs Olive Oil
- Pulse bread in food processor until crumbled.
- Add in parsley and salt and pepper to taste and pulse to combine.
- In a bowl mix gently with olive oil.
Recipe: Pear Tart Tatin
- Preheat Oven to 375
- Roll out thawed puff pastry into an 1/8 of an inch thick on a silpat mat. Place in Refrigerator.
- Heat butter in a 10 inch oven-proof skillet. Once butter is melted, tilt pan to coat evenly with butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar, stir and tilt pan to coat evenly.
- Place pears in skillet in a circular pattern, flat side down. Sprinkle with ginger and cinnamon. Cook gently until butter and sugar caramelizes, turns a deep brown and bubbles. Let cool slightly.
- Remove puff pastry from refrigerator and top skillet with it, tucking the edges into the skillet.
- Place skillet on a baking sheet covered in foil and place in the oven.
- Bake 30 minutes until puff pastry is puffed.
- Remove from oven, let cool slightly, flip over onto a plate and enjoy.
Meal type: dessert