According to my book the Cooking for Provincial France the French Cassoulet takes a lot of ingredients and a lot of time. Phew! It's a weeknight. Home from work and school who has all that time? So instead of using duck, pork, lamb, and dried beans, we go easy with chicken and canned beans. It's still a mighty delicious comforting meal and worthy of your weekly meal plan.
There are various version of the Chicken Cassoulet dish that you will find all over the place on the internet. My dish allows me to make it in about an hour including oven time. And when I dig in the pantry and only have one can cannellini beans I just may substitute another kind.
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Easy Weeknight Chicken Cassoulet
Serve with a fresh salad and/or cooked side vegetable.
- 4 each Boneless Chicken Thighs
- 2 can (19 oz) Cannellini Beans
- 1 can (14 oz) Crushed Tomatoes or 3 chopped fresh garden tomatoes
- 1 cup Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs You can make these easily.
- 1/2 each celery diced
- 1 each carrot diced
- 1/2 each Yellow Onions chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon Rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon Thyme
- 8 oz Mushrooms chopped
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and then prepare mushrooms. Wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth or paper towel and then remove stems. Roughly chop them into bite sized pieces and then put them to the side.
Mix Thyme and Rosemary together (chop Rosemary down if need be)
Open cans of beans and drain and rinse. Set aside
In a small bowl add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the breadcrumbs.
Season both sides of the chicken with herbs (keep a little over) and salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken skin-side down and leave to cook for 5-7 minutes (it should not stick to the pan anymore at this point). Flip the chicken and cook 2 minutes more on the other side. Transfer chicken to a warm platter to rest.
Drain off fat from the pan, return to heat and add mushrooms, celery, carrots, chopped onions, and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 4 minutes
Add the rest of the herbs, 1 cup of water, the rinsed beans, and can of tomatoes. Stir and bring to a simmer. Add chicken (skin side up) back to ban and place in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes.
Take the pan out of the oven and set the oven to broil. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top and return pan to oven. Broil for 5 minutes (and watch closely like I did not). Check temperature of the chicken. It should be 165 degrees with no pink.
I love this Fall dish. I consider this a comfort meal.
Some things to note. I take great liberty with this meal. It is hearty and filling. Sometimes I want more tomatoes so I'll add a fresh one to the canned. Sometimes I want more crumbs on top so I'll add an extra half cup. I also sometimes use Panko breadcrumbs for the breadcrumbs. And yes finally I do sometimes swap out a can of Black beans for Cannellini beans.