Smoked Chicken and White Bean CassouletPublished 6:54am Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Cold winter days and nights make me crave soups and stews. My husband, Kevin, had brought home a smoked chicken that was given as a Christmas gift. We eat a lot of chicken and beans in our house, so I thought I’d try putting them together.
I remembered a recipe I had seen a while back for a cassoulet (pronounced kas-uh-ley) and thought I’d create one! A cassoulet is simply a rich, slow-cooked bean stew or casserole that originated in the south of France. The name comes from the deep, round earthenware pot, or cassole, that was traditionally used to cook the dish.
Since I didn’t have the time or cassole, I decided to put mine in a crockpot, so I could go to work while it cooked all day.
The dish turned out to be much like a white bean chili I’ve made before, but with a nice, smoky flavor. And my family gobbled it up – always a good sign since my girls can sometimes be picky eaters.
Smoked Chicken and White Bean Cassoulet
6-8 servings; cook time – 8 hours in crockpot on low
1 whole smoked chicken**
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, quartered and diced (about one cup)
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced
2 15 oz cans white kidney (cannoli) or great northern or black eyed peas
4 cups fresh leaf spinach
1 tbls fresh chopped thyme (or two tsp dried thyme)
6 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Put the chicken, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes and beans in the crock pot. Cover with 6 cups of water. On low setting, cook for 6-7 hours. An hour before serving, remove and debone the chicken, returning the meat to the crockpot. Add the thyme and spinach and cook up to one more hour.
Serve with crusty bread.
**If you don’t have a smoked chicken, you can add 1 tsp of liquid smoke to get the smoky flavor.