Healthy Chicken Cassoulet

17 Feb

Traditional cassoulets are not particularly healthy.  A French stew made of beans and bits of meat (usually sausage, goose, duck, partridge, cured ham, bacon, or a combination or variation thereof), a cassoulet is a quick, hearty, and delicious one pot peasant meal.  I wanted to dial down the fat and cholesterol but keep the essence of the dish.  The recipe below was quite successful at the objective, in my humble opinion.  Though comforting, warm, and flavorful, this dish was relatively light on cholesterol and fat.  It is even more delicious as leftovers.

Healthy Chicken Cassoulet

Adapted from Eating Well

1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

6 oz. smoked turkey sausage, sliced into 1/2″ slices on a bias

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1/4 cup crimini mushrooms, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans

1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 cup white wine (I used chardonnay)

1 cup homemade chicken stock

2 cups leftover roast chicken meat

1/4 cup Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 475º.

Heat olive oil in a large, deep cast iron pan over medium heat.  Add kielbasa and cook until browned on all sides, roughly 4-6 minutes.  Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic to the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is light golden brown and slightly caramelized, about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place 1/4 cup beans in a small bowl and mash with a fork.  Add the remaining beans to the bowl and stir to combine.

Add rosemary, thyme, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper to onion and kielbasa mixture.  Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Increase heat to high and add wine.  Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, to scrape up any browned bits until wine has reduced by half, about a minute.

Add homemade chicken stock, beans, and chicken.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and maintain a simmer.  Cover and cook until warmed through and most of the liquid is absorbed, 10-12 minutes.

Top with breadcrumbs and transfer  to oven.  Cook 6-8 minutes until breadcrumbs are lightly browned and liquid is totally absorbed.

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