12.01.2009

Turkey Cassoulet


Cassoulet - the word alone, in all its romantic French-ness, sounds so sophisticated, and most recipes for it are pretty intensive. However, at its very base, it's peasant food -- the quintessential one-pot meat and bean stew. No, we didn't make a traditional cassoulet. That's on the "one day" list. But we were looking for one last way to use our plentiful Thanksgiving leftovers and decided on a quick and easy version of the French classic. This recipe made three individual sized cassoulets - one each for the "couple in the kitchen" and one for my lunch buddy and foodie friend Joanne (who gets credits for the photos). Homemade stock and both hot and sweet Italian sausage gave the cassoulet a rich, dark flavor. White beans supplied heartiness, panko offered a crunchy brown topping, and a shot of brandy added some warmth. We didn't add seasoning since we thought we had plenty from the cooked turkey and stock, but next time might add some type of herb mixture (herbes de Provence, perhaps). Simple and satisfying, this dish is definitely making it into the "leftovers" recipe file, for turkey, chicken or duck (just kidding - I never have duck leftovers)!


Ingredients:

2 cups shredded leftover turkey
2 15-ounce cans of white beans, drained and rinsed well
2 links hot sausage - cooked, cut into rounds, and quartered
2 links sweet sausage - cooked, cut into rounds, and quartered
1 1/2 cups turkey stock
2 ounces brandy
1 cup breadcrumbs (we like panko)
1 tablespoon of some type of fat (we used fat skimmed from the stock we made, but duck fat or butter would work) to grease the baking dishes and add a bit of moisture to the top

Notes:
This recipe filled three individual size baking dishes. Make sure to separate the stock, brandy and breadcrumbs into equal measures according to the number of baking dishes you're using. Also, if you're making them ahead of time, assemble, cover and refrigerate without baking. When it's time, bring to room temperate (about 1/2 hour) then bake at 400 for 1/2 hour.

Heat the oven to 400 and grease your baking dish(es). In a large bowl, mix together the turkey, beans and sausage. Fill the baking dish(es) with this mixture. Pour over the turkey stock and brandy. Top the entire thing with a thin layer of breadcrumbs. Drizzle the top with a bit more stock or whatever fat you used to grease the dishes. Bake for 30 minutes until brown on top and bubbly.

1 comment:

pegasuslegend said...

great Idea and ingredients for those leftovers thanks for sharing :)