Creole Cassoulet

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Creole CassouletOne brisk winter’s night, I happened upon a small country inn whilst seeking the warmth of jovial conversation by the light of a roaring fire. Okay, maybe in my fantasies … It was actually on K street in Washington, DC, and I was meeting a friend for a beer at a chic Belgian alehouse. Anyhow, what warmed my chilly urban reality was a satisfying crock of cassoulet, a hearty, earthy, smoky casserole of beans, sausage, and cured poultry. Cassoulet transported me as I dismissed the fact that my buddy was an hour late! Enjoy our version of cassoulet, with a Louisiana twist. The aroma while it bubbles away will guarantee you won’t have to enjoy it alone!

  • Yield: 12 Servings
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 20 Minutes


  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves halved
  • 2 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tomato purée
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 14½-oz cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb smoked sausage, cut into 3-inch pieces
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. To make the confit, place the chicken snugly in the bottom of an oven-safe skillet. Ideally,
  2. the skillet is just large enough to fit all of the chicken thighs, without too much extra space. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, scatter the remaining confit seasonings around the chicken. Pour the olive oil into the skillet. Place the skillet over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cover tightly with foil or a lid, and transfer to the oven for 2 hours. Remove the skillet from the oven, transfer all contents to a refrigerator-safe container, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Remove the confit chicken from the refrigerator and remove the chicken to a plate, set aside, and retain the confit oil.
  4. To make the casserole, preheat the oven to 375°F. Place a skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the confit oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add onion, celery, bell pepper, salt, pepper, and paprika, and sauté until the onion becomes almost translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic to the skillet and continue to sauté for 1 additional minute.
  5. Add tomato purée, stock, and beans to the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Transfer the skillet contents to a 9 x 13 baking dish. Carefully submerge sausage segments into the bean mixture. Place the chicken thighs on top of the beans, skin-side up. Transfer the uncovered baking dish to the oven and roast for 2 hours, or until the chicken skin is darkening and crispy. If the beans look to be a bit dry, add a ½ cup of water at a time.
  6. Serve some chicken, sausage, and beans with white rice or a crusty bread slice or three.

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