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1st day of winter here in Australia and where it’s not too cold here in Queensland. It’s actually quite beautiful, really. The mornings and evenings defo feel chillier. It looks like I’m becoming a Queenslander and feeling the cold of low teen celsius!! Before here, I had winters in NYC of -26c, and now I have got the heating on in the house when it’s 13-16c outside!! Right, back to the task at hand – this DELISH, soul-warming Inglewood Organic chicken & butterbean cassoulet. You really can’t beat those one pan/pot dishes, and when they have this much flavour and look this good, it’s a recipe that’ll defo wanna make the weekly meal plan!
WHAT IS A CASSOULET
Is this a true cassoulet? Probably not, but it’s perhaps the closest dish to it that I can describe it simply. I guess it’s a bit of a hybrid between a French cassoulet and an American casserole.
A casserole is a dish that is cooked in the oven or stew in a single pot. When you think of an American casserole, you think of things that have meat, veggies, and loads of cheese! It’s typically served in a rectangular or oval-shaped dish.
A cassoulet is a bit more “fancy,” it is French after all! It stems from Toulouse and meat, sausage, beans, bacon, wine, veggies, and stock. So, in my opinion, this dish (minus the sausage) is more cassoulet than a casserole. Let the debate begin 😉
TIPS WHEN MAKING CHICKEN & BUTTERBEAN CASSOULET
It couldn’t be any easier! Follow these helpful tips, and you will master this recipe quickly.
First, gather all your ingredients. Unless it’s a recipe you have made regularly and know you way around the kitchen well, then I can’t stress enough the need to have everything laid out in front of you so you can then focus on the recipe! Right, once that’s done, let’s get cooking!
Brown the chicken – this helps remove excess fat but also adds flavour to the dish. The excess fat you release you can use to cook the veggies in, but the caramelized surface of the meat also adds more flavour to the plate.
Make sure your veggies are cut into equal-sized pieces. This is key to even cooking so that they all turn out the same. Nothing worse than a rock hard carrot in one bite and mush the next!
Same thing with the bacon – render the fat out. Yes, fat does equal flavour but soft fatty uncooked bacon ain’t too flavourful. One the chicken has been browned, remove from the pan and let the bacon cook down.
Cook off the wine. Once the veggies have been added, then the wine next. This helps to deglaze the pan and remove any of those brown crispy bits stuck to the pan. THEN it’s essential to cook off the alcohol. We all like a hit of alcohol, especially after hanging out with the kids (I do love her!) all day. But, we want that taste to be subtle in food and not to overpower the dish.
Next, it’s about the good quality stock and some delicious fresh herbs and into the oven she goes.
DON’T put a lid on though – if you add a lid to the dish, the chicken skin won’t get a chance to crisp up! If using, boneless, skinless thighs then feel free to add a lid, but I personally don’t recommend it – plus it’s just something else to clean at the end;)
CAN I USE OTHER CUTS OF CHICKEN
Brown meat is usually best when cooking recipes like this. There is more fat going through them, so they hold up better to being braised or slow-cooked. You could substitute boneless/skinless thighs or even use wings/add them into the mix too. Truthfully though, I am all for bone-in thighs and/or drumsticks when cooking chicken this way. What does Gordon Ramsay say “fat=flavour.” Typically I would use breasts for things like stir fry, for a chicken burger, or a classic kiev dish. Boneless thighs for things like curry or for grilled chicken skewers. Speaking of chicken curry – check out this wicked Thai Green Curry, I did using the delicious Inglewood Organic Chicken.
WHAT OVER VEGGIES CAN I USE
Loads! The beauty of these kinda dishes is you can add tons of extra veggies into them. Heck, you could go full veg if you liked! Things like squash/pumpkin, broccoli, parsnips, potatoes, or onion would all work. You are looking for a firmer/root veg that will hold up to cooking in liquid and not turn to mush. Tomatoes or capsicums/peppers would work too, but you would be altering the cassoulet/stew style, so try pair things that match with those vegetables. The beauty of cooking is experimenting but also having a think about what tastes well with each other, how long they take to cook, and what the texture will be once you cooked. Root veggies will have a bite to them still where tomatoes will break down into a more sauce-like component.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN & BUTTERBEAN CASSOULET
Potatoes, it’s gotta be potatoes! BUT, alternatively you could get a big old loaf of crusty bread to dip into the rich and flavourful sauce! Here are my tips on how to ake the best mash.
- Peel and cut into even-sized pieces
- Don’t hold back on the salt in the water
- Once cooked, drain and allow to steam dry for a minute to remove any excess moisture
- Invest in a potato ricer – defo helps remove the lumps. Alternatively, mash them up and then using a spoon push them through a sieve to remove any lumps, but truth be told, it’s a little extra work that way!
- Butter, butter, and more butter.
- A splash of cream too but literally just a splash
Spice up the potatoes a little by adding some spring onions, chives, roasted garlic, or a little whole grain mustard if you want!
Chardonnay ALL day! No better pairing than a beautiful Chardy to go with the rich flavours from the chicken & butterbean cassoulet. The incredible Inglewood Organic Chicken, salty and fatty bacon, a spoonful of grain mustard, stock, and veggies cooked in the oven deserves a quality glass of chardonnay. This First Creek Hunter valley chardonnay straight from Wine Direct is the one for the job! My descriptor for the wine was ‘DELIGHTFUL.’ If that doesn’t make you click through this LINK, then I dunno what will! Beautiful citrus notes, plenty of tropical fruit, vanilla, a little oak, and medium + length (sounds like I know what I’m talking about, doesn’t it!). The wine is just a beautiful drop. Super refreshing and drinking great right now, what more could you ask for!
OTHER WINTER WARMERS
Here are some other recipes from my blog and some fellow Aussie food bloggers that’ll keep you feeling happy and warm during these cooler months!
Beef Cheek Ragu (my most popular recipe) by Yours Truly
Eggplant Involtini by Alexandra Cook of ‘It’s Not Complicated’
Cauliflower Bacon Soup by Yours Truly
Easy Chunky Beef Stew by Adrianne Jamieson of ‘Sweet Caramel Sunday’
Baked Apricot Chicken Curry Casserole by Kim Morris of ‘My Sugar Free Kitchen’
Beef & Guinness Cottage Pie by Yours Truly
Tomato & Mixed Bean Soup by Keeley Spencer of ‘KJS Food Journal’
Scottish Lamb Stew ( my 99yr old Grans recipe!) by Yours Truly
Spicy Tomato & Red Lentil Soup by Bec Allum of ‘Thermobexta’
Happy Cooking and Happy Eating Friends!!
- 3 chicken thighs bone – in
- 3 chicken drumstricks
- 1 leek cleaned & sliced into 1 cm discs
- 4 slices streaky bacon chopped
- 200 g butterbeans
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp grain mustard
- 300 ml chicken stock
- 100 ml white wine
- 12 chantenay carrots or 2 large carrots cut into 1" pieces
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 600 g potatoes peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
- 100 g butter cut into cubes
- 50 ml cream
- 1 tbsp salt
- Season and fry chicken in shallow casserole dish for 2/3 mins until skin is browned, remove and set aside.
- Add bacon and fry for 2 mins.
- Add leeks, carrot & garlic and cook for a further 2 mins.
- Add wine, cook for 1 minute to burn off some of the alcohol, then add stock, thyme, mustard, butterbeans and chili flakes.
- Place in the oven at 180c for 30 minutes.
- Chop potatoes into evenly sized pieces, I got with about 2 cm pieces.
- Place potatoes in heavily salted water and simmer cook for 15-20 minutes until they are soft. You should be able to push a knife through with no resistance.
- Drain and allow to steam/stand for a minute to remove any excess water.
- Mash using a potato ricer or masher and stir in LOADS of butter and cream – trust me 😉
- shallow casserole dish
- measuring utensils
- chef knives
- chopping board
- potato masher/ricer