Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Chicken and bean cassoulet

I wrote about this recipe a long time ago it seems, but never really finished telling how I make it. It's a great thing to make on a day that you want to spend a while making dinner, and need something that the kids can help with. I even let Claire help with the raw chicken portion because I've scared her so much about raw chicken that I knew she would vigilently wash her hands afterwards! I made it Sunday afternoon when it was freezing cold outside and I didn't want to go anywhere. The actual recipe is found here, so go there for measurements, but here are my tips.

Give your child two giant carrots and a peeler and let her go to town on the carrots for a while. You can chop the carrots up then while you give her the annoying job of taking the paper wrapping off of all the garlic cloves from a whole bulb of garlic. Chop up the onion. Okay, the chopping part is done.

Rinse your chicken, dry, and dip in flour. Brown in the olive oil but add some butter too. In fact, leave a big chunk of butter on the counter next to your pot and just throw some in half-hazardly whenever you feel like it throughout the whole cooking proccess...it makes it good. Brown the chicken and remove it to a plate. Leave the brown stuff on the bottom of the pan, throw in some more butter and oil, and then throw in the chopped up carrots and onion. Cook ten minutes. Now throw all the garlic cloves into the pan with the veggies (I cut them each in half to release a little more of the garlic-ness) as well as the rosemary, vinegar, wine, and bay leaf.

This is where you get to sneak a glass of red wine after you pour it into the pan and drink it while you are cooking...even if it's early afternoon. That's my rule. If you're cooking dinner, it's officially late enough to have a glass of wine.

Now you reduce it until it's half, then add the tomatoes, reduce again, and then add the can of beans (drained/rinsed) and the lentils. Stir, add the stock and mustard, and add the chicken back into the pan. Finally, add the lemon and zest, sugar, salt, and pepper, and then cover and put into the oven for two hours.
Meanwhile, make some polenta on the side. It's basically corn meal, water, butter, and cheese, but it's good.

It's good. It's real good. And it's good leftover. And the kids like it because the chicken is really soft. Now, obviously, this is a laborious dinner to make and I don't do it often but it smells so fabulous and is so good that I crave it every once in a while and make it...and I drink more of the red wine with it too. Then I'm tired from making it so I don't do it again for a while.


ohio12 said...

That looks so good. I must try it! PS: is that Matt playing computer games in the background by any chance?

chicago_mom said...

and the answer to that is....yes! surprise!