One of the problems I have when I cook a big meal for the family is that I often don’t get a chance to photograph it. Not only is it hard to stave the family off from devouring the meal in moments, but usually the lighting doesn’t permit a decent photo or two being taken.
Last night however, and thanks to prolonged evening light, I managed to snap a shot of the beautiful chicken cassoulet that I cooked. Which means I can share this recipe with you wonderful people!
This cassoulet takes some time, however most of that time is spent under the care and guidance of the oven. Simply dedicate a half hour and a single pan to this dish, and then let the oven do the rest of the work for you. Comfort food really doesn’t get any better than this, a perfect meal to share with family and friends.
- 4 chicken legs, skin on
- 6 sausages, I used Lincolnshire seasoned with sage, parsley and thyme
- 200g pancetta lardons
- 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 head of garlic, sliced in half
- A generous sprig of thyme
- A sprig or two of rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 500ml good quality hot chicken stock
- 2 400g tins of haricot beans, drained of any excess liquid
- 1 large red chilli, scored down the side
- Splash of red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 180°c.
In a large and deep roasting dish suitable for use on the hob, heat the olive oil on a medium heat, and sear the chicken legs and sausages until they’ve got a lovely colour on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan with all of the wonderful juices from the chicken and sausages, add the onion, pancetta and the two half heads of garlic cut side down. Cook this for a few minutes until the pancetta becomes slightly crispy, before adding the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and seasoning.
Give this a quick stir, then add the chopped tomatoes, red chilli, vinegar and the chicken stock. Bring everything to the boil and tip in the beans. Leave everything to cook for a few minutes, check for seasoning and then nestle the meat back into the pan.
Now the hard part is over, simply cover with foil and pop into the oven for 1 hour. After the hour is up, remove the foil and continue to cook for a further hour.