A recipe for cassoulet in the current issue of Bon Appétit caught my eye. It’s Sunday and a rare day with no commitments and the perfect kind of day for big cooking.
At its heart, cassoulet is simple country food. Traditionally duck or goose legs that had been poached in duck fat to preserve them are added to a big dish of beans as they bake in the oven. Sausages and hunks of bacon are generally tucked in the pot as well.
This recipe called for confit chicken thighs and andouille sausage. I subbed in big chicken drumsticks from my chicken adventure…
And spicy Italian sausages from my pig adventure…
To confit the chicken I added i
t along with some whole small onions, a head of garlic and some bay leaves to a pot of melted fat – part lard that I had rendered and part schmalz that I had skimmed when I was roasting some chicken bones for stock. I simmered it in a 225F oven for about 3 hours. Despite how it sounds, the finished chicken isn’t at all greasy.
For the beans I cooked off some onion and garlic then added a jar of my tomatoes and a little bit of chipotle. I simmered it until it was a sauce then added some of my canned beans along with the onions and garlic from the confit pot. I tucked the pieces of chicken and sausage on top and baked it uncovered for about 2 hours.
I’m one month in to my ‘no grocery’ phase – trying to eat well with the food I have stored and preserved and tucked away. It goes well so far, having only bought a litre of milk for tea the day I had company and a package of English muffins, again for company. Tonight’s meal has onions and garlic that I grew, tomatoes that I grew and canned, beans I canned, chicken and sausages from animals I butchered, lard that I rendered and a bunch of herbs I grew. 🙂
Peasant food apparently.