Simplified Cassoulet with Pork and Kielbasa

From America's Test Kitchen Season 4: French Food in a Flash

Why this recipe works:

To streamline our cassoulet recipe without compromising its essential character, we used brined chicken legs cooked in bacon fat, which simulated the smoky flavor and moist texture of confit. With our mock confit in place, we made short work of the balance of the cassoulet recipe: the meat to… read more

To streamline our cassoulet recipe without compromising its essential character, we used brined chicken legs cooked in bacon fat, which simulated the smoky flavor and moist texture of confit. With our mock confit in place, we made short work of the balance of the cassoulet recipe: the meat to use for stewing (we decided on the flavorful blade-end pork roast or thick lamb shoulder chops), canned versus dried beans (the canned beans were out because they fell apart during cooking), and the type of sausage (the classically correct French sausage being too hard to find, we substituted kielbasa or andouille sausages; we liked their smoky flavor).

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Serves 8

This dish can be made without brining the chicken, but we recommend that you do so. To ensure the most time-efficient preparation of the cassoulet, while the chicken is brining and the beans are simmering, prepare the remaining ingredients. Look for dried flageolet beans in specialty food stores. If you can't find a boneless blade-end pork loin roast, a boneless Boston butt makes a fine substitution. Additional salt is not necessary because the brined chicken adds a good deal of it. If you skip the brining step, add salt to taste before serving.

Ingredients

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