OUR SPECIAL CASSOULET
-less than 30 mins
-1 to 2 hours
Cassoulet is a hearty dish but with a few little tweaks we’ve reduced the calorie count while keeping the big flavours. Choose really meaty sausages and gammon, take the skin off the chicken and use a very small amount of oil – it all helps.
464 calories per portion.
- ½ tsp sunflower oil
- 6 sausages, at least 85% meat
- 4 celery sticks
- 3 carrots
- 2 onions, halved and sliced
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 450g/1lb)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 200g/7oz piece smoked lean gammon, trimmed and cut into 2cm/1in cubes
- 2 x 400g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes
- 150ml/5fl oz red wine (or water)
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 4-5 bushy sprigs fresh thyme
- 400g/14oz can cannellini beans in water, drained and rinsed
- 400g/14oz can butter beans in water, drained and rinsed
- freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE GARNISH
- Brush a large non-stick frying pan with the sunflower oil, using the tip of a pastry brush. Add the sausages to the pan and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, turning every now and then until nicely browned on all sides.
- Meanwhile, trim the celery and peel the carrots and cut them into diagonal slices about 1.5cm/½in thick.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Add the onions to the frying pan and cook with the sausages for 6-8 minutes, stirring regularly until softened and lightly browned.
- Trim the chicken thighs of any visible fat – we find a good pair of kitchen scissors does the job well – then cut the thighs in half.
- Add the garlic and chicken pieces to the pan with the sausages and onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, turning the chicken twice until coloured all over.
- Transfer everything to a large flameproof casserole dish.
- Stir in the gammon, celery, carrots, tomatoes, red wine and 300ml/½ pint cold water, then sprinkle over the caster sugar and chilli flakes. Stir in the bay leaf and thyme and season with lots of ground black pepper.
- Bring the cassoulet to a simmer on the hob, then cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 45 minutes.
- Take the casserole out of the oven and stir in all the beans. Cover with the lid again and put the dish back in the oven for another 30 minutes.
- Just before the cassoulet is ready, prepare the garnish. Chop the parsley roughly and toss with the orange zest in a small bowl.
- Serve large portions of the cassoulet in deep plates or wide bowls with a good sprinkling of the zesty parsley garnish on each one.