Cheater’s Mock Cassoulet

Cheater’s Mock Cassoulet

3 medium onions: 1 finely chopped, 1 quartered, 1 left whole and studded with 6 whole cloves

6 cloves garlic, chopped

3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

2 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes

2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans white beans, such as cannellini, drained

Salt and pepper to taste

8 chicken thighs

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon olive oil

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 pounds andouille sausage, sliced 1/4-inch wide on the diagonal

1 1/2 cups homemade or good-quality bread crumbs

Place onions, all of them, along with the 6 chopped cloves of garlic, chicken stock, bay leaves, allspice, thyme and rosemary in large ovenproof Dutch oven set over medium-high heat on stove top. Bring to a gentle boil, lower heat, and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Add tomatoes and beans, then salt and pepper to taste, and simmer another 15 minutes.

Rinse and pat dry the chicken.

In mini chopper or with a mortar using a pestle, pulverize the garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon olive oil to a smooth paste. Rub this paste under the skin of the thighs into the chicken meat. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a sturdy skillet and brown the chicken thighs on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Add chicken thighs to beans in Dutch oven and stir to incorporate. Keep the stew at a bare simmer, allowing the chicken to cook through.

In a medium skillet, brown lightly the andouille slices, then add them to the stew, stirring to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat and sprinkle cassoulet with the bread crumbs.

Place cassoulet in oven and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until bread crumbs have browned. Serve with crusty bread and a salad of field greens.

Makes 6 servings

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