This was a very delicious meal. I am a huge fan of sweet Italian sausage and love finding new ways to add it into meals. I don’t like to cook them whole and slice later as I find the dish an get greasy and the meat cooks unevenly so I break it into large chucks out of the casing and use the natural fat rather than oil to cook. This is from Rachael Ray: 30-Minute Meals
- 2 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
- 2 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 4 sweet sausages
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 15 oz can cannellini beans
- 6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stem and chopped (I used dried since I had it on hand)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 14 oz can no-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
Giant Garlic Croutons:
- 1 baguette, cut into 2 inch thick rounds
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
Dice chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat a deep pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and whole sausages and diced chicken to pot (I don’t use oil as the sausage releases enough fat, I also take it out of the casing and create large crumbles). Brown for 5 minutes. Remove sausages and chicken; set aside. Add a second tbsp of olive oil (I use the oil from the sausage). Cook carrot, celery and onion for 5 minutes, frequently giving the pot a good shake. Add garlic. Douse pan with wine and scrape up all the good bits of gunk. Add beans, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper, tomatoes, and broth. Slice sausages into bite-sized pieces and return sausages and chicken to pan to finish cooking. Bring dish to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
To make croutons, broil bread rounds, completely dry, on cookie sheet. Evenly brown the bread rounds on both sides. Remove from oven. In a small dish or bowl, microwave the olive oil and garlic for 30 seconds on high. Brush the oil over the toasted french bread rounds.
To server, set the garlic croutons into the juice and all around the edge of the skillet of cassoulet. Bring the whole pain right to the table or counter and serve it right from the hot pot.