RCP Louisiana-style Cassoulet

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RCP Louisiana-style Cassoulet

Postby Jenise » Mon May 22, 2006 1:18 pm

Saturday night I put some tepary beans in a bowl to soak though I didn't have a particular plan for them other than just wanting to make a rainy day bean soup for Sunday dinner. By morning a cassoulet sounded like a better idea, but I didn't have any duck confit and the only sausage I had was an Andouille...which made me realize that I DID have on hand everything needed to make a cassoulet with a New Orleans drawl--a meaty smoked 2 lb pork shank from an organic farm in Oregon, an Andouille sausage instead of garlic sausage, and a frozen package of chicken thighs to stand in for the duck confit. For seasoning: more herbs, celery and pepper. For garnish--a spear of fried okra. I also had fresh artichokes, which I learned from Chef Carey's book Contemporary Creole Cookery "was introduced to Louisiana long before it went to California", to serve as a starter with a garlic aioli. Bingo! I had both a thematic dinner plan and a fun, challenging food project to occupy my day.

Later, inspired by Christian's post about leftover buttermilk, I added a green onion skillet cornbread. Our wine was a '98 Chapoutier La Bernardine CdP.

So how was it? Well, Bob rated it a 10 and I can offer that I would not be ashamed to serve this dish to either cassoulet expert Betty Lu Kessler or New Orleans native Chef Carey.

Though I tend to work without measurements, I made mental note of what went in and the following recipe's definitely a keeper.

The cassoulet:

Step 1:

1 lb dried white tepary beans, soaked overnight
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
3 whole cloves
10 black peppercorns
2 lb smoked pork shank
3 large shallots, finely diced
2 ribs celery, diced
6 cups chicken stock
2 medium tomatoes, large dice

In a large Dutch oven style pan, saute the onion and celery together until softened, then add the remaining ingredients. Simmer for about 45 minutes--beans should just-tender at this point.

Step Two

6 chicken thighs with skin
1 andouille sausage, cut into 1/2" thick slices
6 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp white pepper

While the beans are simmering, do some browning in another skillet. First the sausage, then the chicken, then the garlic. Remove all and reserve.

When the beans are ready, remove about two cups of the cooking liquid and reserve. Add the chicken pieces, skin side up, and the remaining seasoning. The liquid in the pan should just barely reach the chicken skin. If it doesn't, add more--you'll eventually feed all of it to the dish as it bakes.

Place the pan in a 350 degree oven and bake for two hours, checking frequently to keep the dish from getting dry. About ten minutes before serving, remove the pork shank and pull the meat from the bones with a fork. Add the meat back to the cassoulet and add this topping:


Step Three

Three cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
3/4 c panko bread crumbs
1 T chopped fresh parsley
cayenne pepper to taste

In a small skillet, soften the garlic in the olive oil and then add the remaining items. Sprinkle over the cassoulet, then return to the oven to bake until golden, about ten minutes.

Serves six.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
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Re: RCP Louisiana-style Cassoulet

Postby ChefCarey » Tue May 23, 2006 9:45 am

So how was it? Well, Bob rated it a 10 and I can offer that I would not be ashamed to serve this dish to either cassoulet expert Betty Lu Kessler or New Orleans native Chef Carey.


Sounds really good, Jenise. Did you check out the one I have in Creole? I use fresh duck.
ChefCarey
 

Re: RCP Louisiana-style Cassoulet

Postby Jenise » Sat May 27, 2006 5:56 pm

Chef,

No, I didn't see your recipe for Cassoulet! You know what, I read your book cover to cover a year or so ago when I bought it, and I refer back to it now and again. In fact, did so just a few weeks ago when thinking about dirty rice, and that was when I stumbled over your mention of artichokes that I quoted in my intro. However, I'm looking at it now.

And so I have a question about preparing beans for the pan in general: rather than an overnight cold soak, you prescribe bringing the beans to a boil and soaking for an hour. Now beans vary in their response to treatments, but it's my experience in pre-boiling this way that I'm more likely to cause the skin to blister and then float away eventually this way, and less so with an overnight cold soak. Do you not have this problem with the pre-boil method?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26365
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: RCP Louisiana-style Cassoulet

Postby ChefCarey » Sun May 28, 2006 10:30 am

Jenise wrote:Chef,

No, I didn't see your recipe for Cassoulet! You know what, I read your book cover to cover a year or so ago when I bought it, and I refer back to it now and again. In fact, did so just a few weeks ago when thinking about dirty rice, and that was when I stumbled over your mention of artichokes that I quoted in my intro. However, I'm looking at it now.

And so I have a question about preparing beans for the pan in general: rather than an overnight cold soak, you prescribe bringing the beans to a boil and soaking for an hour. Now beans vary in their response to treatments, but it's my experience in pre-boiling this way that I'm more likely to cause the skin to blister and then float away eventually this way, and less so with an overnight cold soak. Do you not have this problem with the pre-boil method?


Yes, I think Kearney's dirty rice is a great dish with the basmati rice. It was a shame to see her leave her restaurant. I left all the personal travail - and it was mountainous - in her life out of the book, but she is a very brave - and talented - woman.

No, I have never had a problem when I only boil the beans for five minutes - begin with cold water and lead up to the boiling slowly.
ChefCarey
 


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