A SIMPLE FRENCH CASSOULET
“The secret to making this fancy bean stew taste meaty and sticky like it’s been cooked for four hours is the powdered gelatine. Sneaky or what! Adding the beans in two batches means the first lot breaks down, giving a wonderfully creamy texture.”
4 chicken thigh cutlets (bone in, skin on) 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil 8 pork chipolatas 2 each carrots, celery stalks and onions,
finely chopped 250g piece speck or bacon, rind
removed, cut into 1cm lardons 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped (we used Woolworths Macro) 1 cup (250ml) white wine 2 tsp powdered gelatine 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock, warmed 2 sage sprigs 1 bay leaf sprig 3 thyme sprigs 8 rosemary sprigs, leaves chopped 400g can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained 1/4 cup (30g) finely grated Gruyere (substitute parmesan) 40g each panko and fresh breadcrumbs Finely grated zest of 1 lemon,
plus extra lemon wedges to serve
Rub 1 tsp salt flakes over skin of chicken and chill, uncovered, until needed. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Heat oil in a deep-sided flameproof roasting tray over high heat. Add chicken and sausages, and cook for 4 minutes each side or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
Add carrot, celery, onion and speck to tray and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Add garlic and parsley stalks, and cook, stirring for 1 minute to soften garlic. Add wine, scraping bottom of tray with a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until reduced by half.
Gradually add gelatine into the warm stock and stir to dissolve, then pour into the tray. Add sage, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary and half the cannellini beans.
Return chicken, skin-side up, and sausages to the tray and roast for 30 minutes or until chicken is almost cooked through. Carefully add remaining 200g beans, avoiding chicken (add more stock or water if cassoulet looks dry). Sprinkle cheese and breadcrumbs over entire surface of the cassoulet and roast for a further 25 minutes or until golden. Scatter with parsley leaves and lemon zest, and serve with lemon wedges.