This insanely delicious Chicken and Smoked Sausage Cassoulet is chocked full of flavor. Tender pieces of chicken rubbed with fragrant Herbes de Provence are nestled into a bed of onion, carrot, kielbasa, fire roasted tomatoes and cannellini beans. Tuck a few sprigs of fresh thyme into the mixture and red pepper flakes for a bit of kick, then after sprinkling with a crispy breadcrumb topping it’s ready to be baked until golden. It’s a feast fit for any night of the week and one you’d be happy to serve to company.
Cassoulet is French for the actual pot this classic dish was cooked in however, it does roll off the tongue a bit more smoothly than casserole doesn’t it? A classic French cassoulet typically uses cuts of meat such as pork and duck with sausages and beans however, there are many variations depending on the region and local tradition. This dish is meant to be an easy everyday version we can all make with easy-to-find ingredients such as chicken and smoked sausage. I like to serve it with crusty bread or garlic bread for dipping in the jus that’s created while it bakes. Every tasty drop is dip-worthy.
Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs typical of the Provence region of Southeast France. It’s widely available on the spice aisle of most grocery stores. The prepared combinations can vary a little but, many include dried marjoram, savory, thyme, oregano, lavender and rosemary forming a bouquet of fragrant flavors that pair beautifully with the chicken in this dish. If you desire, you may substitute 1/2 cup of the chicken broth with white wine to give the jus a real boost in flavor.
Chicken and Smoked Sausage Cassoulet
- 4 slices bacon
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 8-oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thirds
- 2 tsp garlic salt divided
- 1 1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence divided
- 1 cup baby carrots cut in half lengthwise
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 lb smoked kielbasa sausage sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained
- 1 15-oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- Few sprigs fresh Thyme
- 1 Tbsp butter melted
- 1/2 cup plain Panko bread crumbs
- 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a large 12-inch cast iron or similar oven safe skillet cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, then crumble. Set aside. Leave drippings in skillet.
- Season the chicken pieces on all sides with 1 tsp Herbes de Provence and 1 tsp garlic salt. Brown for 1 minute on each side in the bacon drippings over medium-high heat. Do not cook through. Remove to a platter.
- Add the carrots and onion to the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes over medium-high or until the onion is beginning to brown.
- Add the sausage, bay leaves, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence, pepper flakes, black pepper, beans, tomatoes and chicken broth to the skillet. Mix well.
- Arrange the chicken into the mixture and tuck several sprigs of fresh thyme throughout.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the butter, Panko, Parmesan and garlic salt.
- After 30 minutes, stir the cassoulet then sprinkle with crumbled bacon and buttered crumbs. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the crumbs are golden and the chicken is fork tender and juices run clear. (If the chicken is done after 30 minutes, broil to brown the crumbs)
- Rest for 10 minutes on the counter then serve garnished with additional fresh thyme and garlic bread.
If desired, 1/2 cup of white wine may be substituted for 1/2 cup of chicken broth.