Friday, April 26, 2013

Chicken Cassoulet on a Rainy Day

Today was a rainy spring day. 

This is the type of day where comfort food makes you glad to be at home, puttering around the place. Poppy and Mamie finally made the Chicken Cassoulet recipe that is such a simple dish,  yet a favorite around Sweet Pickles Farm. Before we made the meal, we did plant a few pots and hanging baskets between rain showers.

They are a bit like babies right now; before you can blink they will be spilling out of their baskets and pots!

The rain made us think of our daughter who is adjusting to some storm-like trials as a new mommy with a colicky baby.  Being far from family, and not having a chance to make new friends yet, we are sure seems overwhelming.  But as parents who remember well those feelings- we know that just like the beautiful flowers that blossom forth after a storm, this difficult phase will soon only be a memory, and that beautiful little baby will blossom into a fun little toddler.  And she doesn't realize what a great mommy she is already- such a compassionate and caring protector, as is his wonderful daddy!  This comfort meal is one we would share with them if they were nearby. We can't wait for when they come to visit us soon!

Chicken Cassoulet: serves 2

1/4 cup breadcrumbs-homemade or bought
1 tsp. olive oil
6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat, cut into 11/2-inch chunks
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. water, divided
1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (halve for dried)
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 tsp. pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 ounces turkey sausage, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

This recipe goes really quickly; first toast the breadcrumbs in a skillet on medium heat with 1 teaspoon olive oil till browned; remove to a small dish.
Take 1/4 cup of beans and mash in a small bowl, then add rest of beans to bowl.
Heat a little olive oil and add chicken chunks, brown on each side, about 2 minutes or so each side.  Remove to a plate.
Add chopped onion and garlic to skillet, and cook, stirring about 1 minute.  Add 1 tablespoon of water, cover and cook, stirring a bit until onion is soft and browned.  This will take about 4 minutes.  
Add the rosemary, thyme, and pepper, cook about 30 seconds.
Add wine, increase heat to high.  Cook, stirring to scrape up bits in pan, 30 seconds or so.
Add broth, 1/4 cup water, sausage, beans, and chicken.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Cook about 3-5 minutes until chicken is cooked.
Serve topped with toasted breadcrumbs and add a shaving of fresh parmesan cheese atop.

Mashing the 1/4 cup of beans

Assemble ingredients close to the stove

Toasting the breadcrumbs

Brown the chicken

The onions and garlic getting to know each other

Add the tablespoon of water, put on the lid and simmer about 4 minutes.

Then add the herbs and stir about 30 seconds; this smells sooo good!  Now add the wine; simmer till evaporates by half- 30 seconds to a minute.

Then add the broth, 1/4 cup water, chicken, beans, and sausage.  Bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat to simmer, cover and cook 3-5 minutes till the chicken is done.

Plate, and sprinkle breadcrumbs over top, then add a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese.  This is so easy and delicious with a piece of crusty bread to sop up the juices.  Mmmm!

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