Cassoulet - Variation one
A quick cassoulet, I mean a simplified version of a traditional cassoulet. Instead of soaking and stewing the beans from scratch, confit the meats, make the stock, and so forth. Here I use canned beans, prepared meats, store-bought stock, and so on for the most part of the recipe. This is a great recipe to make ahead and let it sit for a day or so since the flavors just build the longer it sits.
3 lbs of a full cooked smoked sausage- like Andouille or Kielbasa - cut into thick rounds
1 to 2 lbs of bone-in chicken thighs and legs
1 lb of stew meat, beef, cubed.
1 lb of pancetta, diced
4 15-ounce cans of navy beans, drained
2 14-ounce cans of fire-roasted tomatoes
1 cup of chicken stock
1 cup of dry vermouth
2 large onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 sprigs of Rosemary, stems removed, and leaves chopped
4 sprigs of thyme
red pepper flakes to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups of bread crumbs
1/2 of romano cheese
1/4 cup of Italian parsley, chopped and stems removed
1/4 cup of olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place chicken in a large bowl, season, and drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat.
Place chicken on prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to roast until cooked through. Turn the chicken over during the roasting so that it browns on each side.
Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
Place a large, Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. add pancetta and render until crisp. Remove and place on a paper towel to drain.
Now add beef and saute until brown on all sides, remove to a bowl and set aside.
Next, add the sausage and saute until brown, remove and add to the bowl with the beef.
Drain the Dutch Oven of most of the drippings, now add the carrots, onions, tomatoes paste, and saute until soft about 10 minutes. Add garlic, vermouth, herbs, and red pepper and saute until vermouth is reduced by half. Now add the beans, tomatoes, stock, season, and bring to a boil, reduce heat and return the beef, sausage, and pancetta to Dutch Oven, stir and remove from heat. Nestle in the chicken into beans mixture, cover with foil and lid, and place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven, remove foil, replace the lid and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Now during the baking time and you are going to serve on the same day, prepare the topping.
Place a skillet over medium heat, add 1/4 cup of oil, once simmering add the breadcrumbs and saute until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl, then add the cheese and parsley and toss to combine.
After the cassoulet has baked for the second time, remove it from the oven. Uncover and later the topping mixture on top. Increase oven to 400 degrees, return to the oven uncovered, and bake until golden about 20 minutes.
Now if you are going to serve this another day, wait to make the topping. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, return cassoulet to the oven, cover, and let warm through about 30 to 45 minutes. You may need to add more chicken stock if the cassoulet is a bit dry. Make topping as directed above while cassoulet is warming. Remove from oven, increase oven to 400 degrees, add topping to cassoulet and return to oven, uncovered, until golden brown. About 20 minutes.