Why we started this idea????

A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gutsy Cooks Club: Cassoulet alas Monday Night

The only way this week's Gutsy Cooks Club recipe for Cassoulet from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible was going to get made by us was for some serious adaptations to recipe to be made. With only 5 days until heading out to Cabo for Spring Break it's the type of week where we cook what's on hand or we don't cook. So I'll call this Monday Night Cassoulet.

The most classic component of any version of a French cassoulet is the white beans and we had those on hand.

Here's our version of Monday Night Cassoulet:

2 cans white butter beans drained (replacing dried navy beans)
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 lbs. Bulk Italian sausage (replacing pork sausage & pancetta)
1 chopped white onion
1 cup chopped carrot
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 bone in chicken thighs (replacing duck legs)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes (replacing tomato paste & water)
1 large can Italian canned, pureed tomatoes
1 cup red wine (replacing white wine)
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp dried parsley

After gathering ingredients we cooked the Italian sausage in our favorite splurge buy dutch oven on the stove top and then removed the sausage draining it on paper towels.

We then browned the chicken in the sausage drippings for extra flavor.

We pulled the chicken to sauté the carrots, garlic & onion.

 Next after seasoning with salt & pepper we added wine to deglaze the yummy bits from the bottom. We added thyme & bay leaf with the canned tomatoes.

We then added back the sausage & chicken thighs back to the dutch oven and then moved it to a 320 degree oven for 35 minutes.

While the cassoulet was in the oven We mixed the Panko,grated Parmesan & parsley before adding to a skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until browned.

We removed from the oven and topped with with the bread crumbs.

We enjoyed our cassoulet with our ever present mid week wine, Columbia Crest '08 Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, one of our truly tried & true reliable go to favorites. We honestly have never been disappointed in this wine for the price.

We both really enjoyed our version of the cassoulet and given the chaoticness of the week this was a good thing because we ended up eating it most of the week.

We also toasted that this would likely be one of our last comfort meals of the season. The days are finally getting longer thank goodness which means gardening and lighter meals are beckoning us. (which is so needed for our current fitness levels.)

One day we do want to make the more classic version using pancetta & duck but that probably won't happen until next fall or winter so it will have to be something to be looked forward to.


  1. Yum, I like your version! Have a great trip!

  2. Seriously wondering why in the hell I pass this by... I need to schedule this like yesterday! All of the gutsy cooks that made it, are raving about it.


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