This dish is one that I make frequently—my husband's a bean lover! We (our family includes two sons, 9 and 7) live not far from the Pennsylvania border, and there are still farms in our area of the state. Our home's on 2 acres of land, with a vegetable garden plus fruit trees and berry bushes.
- 3/4 pound dried navy beans
- 3 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
- 1/4 pound bacon, diced
- 4 chicken legs or thighs
- 2 medium carrots, quartered
- 2 medium onions, quartered
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped celery with leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 pound smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Minced fresh parsley
- Sort beans and rinse with cold water. In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, combine the beans, water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; boil, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 to 4 hours or until beans are softened. Do not drain.
- Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. In the same skillet, brown chicken in reserved drippings on all sides; drain and set aside.
- In a 3-qt. baking dish or Dutch oven, combine the beans with cooking liquid, bacon, carrots, onion, tomatoes, celery, garlic, salt, marjoram, sage and pepper. Place whole cloves on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag. Add to bean mixture; top with chicken.
- Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Uncover; add sausage. Bake 30-35 minutes longer or until beans are tender. Discard bay leaf and spice bag. Garnish with parsley. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as Country Cassoulet in Country Woman January/February 1992, p33
Full-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
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