Cassoulet: the ultimate French comfort food, and so easy to make! Image courtesy of Isabelle Hurbain-Palatin via Flickr

Cassoulet, the classic French white bean and meats stew, typically cooks long and slow.  This is a speedier version of the traditional recipe with chicken, sausage and beans.  There’s NO compromise on flavor, and this is delish!  If you’re vegetarian, substitute a vegetarian sausage and get creative with chicken substitutes (we now even have a vegetarian chicken in a can…) such as tofu, tempeh or favorite foods like olives.  (And add some extra olive oil!)  If you don’t do beans, use butternut squash or yams.  If you’re not using liquid from the beans, add a C of water or vegetable broth.  Make this recipe your own. 

 When using sausages, make them grass-fed for sure.  Grass-fed means more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which has many benefits, one of which is helping prevent belly fat.   

 Serves 4Preheat oven to 425 degrees 

¼ C extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)   4 org chicken thighs with bone and skin 
1 large onion, chopped  4 sausages, cut into thirds 
4 cloves garlic, chopped  1 tsp each dried basil and thyme 
2 C diced tomatoes  1 tsp black pepper 
4 C cooked white beans w/1 C  1 tsp good salt or Spike seasoning 
     cooking liquid (we use Eden  more EVOO to drizzle on top 
     beans cooked with kombu)  parsley for garnish 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Pour the ¼ C EVOO into a baking pan (a lasagna pan works great).  Add onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, beans and 1 C of their cooking liquid and place dish into the oven.  Roast about 30 minutes until most of the moisture is gone.   

 Nestle chicken into beans, tuck the sausages into corners of the pan and between chicken pieces.  Sprinkle chicken with herbs and salt and pepper (or Spike seasoning).  Drizzle on some EVOO.  Cook until chicken skin is very crisp and nice browned, about 30-45 min.  Dish out, garnish with chopped parsley if you want. 

 Can marinate chicken the night before in an additional 2 Tbsp EVOO and the 4 cloves garlic in the ingredient list above.  Your chicken will be much more flavorful.