I had a quick dinner at Le Pain Quotidien on the King’s Road last week. I chose the Chicken Cassoulet, and found it rather uninspired.
So this weekend, I made my own version. It’s inspired by the Jamie Oliver “Essex cassoulet”, but perhaps a little easier. Enjoy.
Serves 3 – 4.
- Chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks – around 500 grams
- 3 decent sized spicy sausages – Toulouse, or Merguez
- Ham bits – off-cuts from the deli counter are perfect; around 200 gram
- Garlic (4 cloves)
- A nutmeg
- Bay leaves (4 – 6)
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme
- a carrot
- a leek
- half a bunch of celery
- a decent oil (rapeseed oil or olive oil)
- a tin of tomatoes
- a tin of white beans
- a handful of lentils
- a glass of robust red wine
Start by heating the oil to a decent level, and fry the (generously seasoned) chicken golden brown in a big, heavy pan. While the chicken’s frying, finely chop the garlic, leek, carrot and celery. Once the chicken is browned, add these to the pan. Leave to fry for a bit, then turn down the heat a little – we want the leek to turn transparent, but not burn.
In the mean time, chop the leaves of the thyme and rosemary, add to the pan, with 4 bay leaves. Grate in around half the nutmeg, with a generous helping of salt and pepper. Add the sausages and the ham.
Once the leek has taken a bit of colour, add the wine, tomatoes, lentils and beans. Add a small amount of water if the mix looks too dry.
Turn the heat down to a slow simmer, and cover the pan.
Leave to simmer for around 90 minutes. The chicken should fall off the bone; the broth should be rich and fragrant. Serve with brown bread.