Cassoulet Rapide


  • 2 cups dried navy beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 cup strong chicken stock
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bouquet garni: the following tied in a cheesecloth
    • 8 parsley sprigs
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 2 tablespoons thyme
    • 4 whole cloves
    • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound very lean bacon, cut into julienne strips
  • 1 pound boneless smoked chicken or duck, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 pound smoked Polish sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 tart apple, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup Armagnac or brandy
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. In a large, heavy saucepan or flameproof casserole, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add beans and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour.
  2. Add onions and bouquet garni to the beans and bring to boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer for 1 hour. Drain beans.
  3. In a small saucepan, cover the bacon with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes, then drain the bacon.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine the beans, chicken stock, smoked chicken, sausage, bacon, apple, wine, Armagnac, tomato paste, and pepper. Toss to mix well. Turn into a large heat-proof casserole.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss the bread crumbs with the parsley and melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the casserole and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and bake for 1 hour longer.

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