La Vie Dansante Wines

Chicken and Sausage Cassoulet

At the end of harvest a young man’s fancy turns to… cassoulet! A loose, almost soup-like stew bursting with the rich flavors of cured meat and beans. This dish will pair equally well with our 2016 Roussanne or our 2015 Nocture.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb dried cannellini beans
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 qt of low-sodium chicken stock (homemade preferred)
  • 3 packets (3/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tbs duck fat
  • 8 oz salt pork, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 cup of La Vie Dansante’s 2016 Roussanne
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb garlic sausage links, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, unpeeled and cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 stalks of celery cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 4 sprigs of parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves

PREPARATION

1. In a large bowl, cover beans with 3 quarts of water and add 3 tablespoons of salt. Stir to combine and let sit at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse beans and set aside.

2. Adjust your oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 300°F.  Place stock in a large liquid measuring cup, sprinkle the gelatin over the top, and set aside. Heat the duck fat in a large Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering. Add the salt pork and cook, stirring occasionally until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

3. Season the chicken pieces with pepper – no salt, there’s plenty in the salt pork – and place skin side down in the now empty Dutch oven. Cook without moving until well-browned, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces and continue cooking until lightly-browned on the second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to the bowl containing the salt pork.

4. Add the sausage to the Dutch oven and cook, turning occasionally, until well-browned on both sides. Transfer to the bowl with the salt pork and chicken. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot.

5. Add onions to the pot and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook until the onions are translucent but not browned, about 4 minutes. Deglaze the pot with the 2016 Roussanne. Add the drained beans, carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, cloves, and stock mixture. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce to low, cover the Dutch oven and cook until the beans are almost tender but retain a slight bite. About 45 minutes.

6. Remove the carrots, celery, parsley, bay leaves, and cloves and discard. Add the meats to the pot and stir to incorporate, making sure the chicken pieces end up on top of the beans with the skin facing upward. The beans should be almost completely submerged. Transfer to the oven and cook, uncovered, until a thin crust forms on top, about 2 hours, adding water (or wine) down the sides of the pot as necessary to keep the beans mostly covered.

7. Break the crust with a spoon and shake the pot gently to redistribute. Return to the oven and continue cooking, stopping to break the crust and release steam every 30 minutes until you reach the 4 1/2 hour mark. Return to the oven and allow to cook undisturbed for an additional 90 minutes.

This recipe was adapted from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt “Traditional French Cassoulet Recipe” on www.seriouseats.com