Cassoulet is a simple dish that perfectly melds the flavors of succulent meats and beans. Serve over or with thick slices of toasted French bread.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 8
1 pound dried white beans, rinsed and drained
6 cups cold water
5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
4 whole cloves
1 small white or yellow onion, peeled
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried parsley
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 large whole bone-in chicken breasts
4 slices bacon, diced
1 large sweet onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 8-ounce package brown-and-serve sausage links
1 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes
Optional: Dry white wine, or additional broth or water
Soak the beans overnight in the water; drain. Add the beans, chicken broth, and 1 tablespoon oil to the pressure cooker. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
Push the cloves into the onion and add it to the pressure cooker along with the bay leaves, parsley, and thyme. Lock the lid into place and bring to high pressure; maintain pressure for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow pressure to release naturally while you prepare the other ingredients.
Quarter each chicken breast. Rub each chicken breast piece with the remaining oil.
Remove the lid from the pressure cooker and transfer the beans and broth to a bowl. Cover and keep warm.
Wipe out the pressure cooker. Return it to medium-high heat and add the bacon. Fry the bacon until it begins to brown. Add 4 chicken breast quarters. Brown for 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken and cooked bacon to the bowl with the beans. Repeat with the remaining 4 chicken breast pieces.
Add the onion; sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic; sauté for 30 seconds. Carefully transfer the beans, broth, and browned chicken pieces to the pressure cooker. Add the sausage links and tomatoes. If necessary, add enough white wine, broth, or water to cover the ingredients in the pressure cooker completely.
Lock the lid into place and bring to high pressure; maintain pressure for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow pressure to release naturally. Remove the lid. Remove and discard the onion studded with cloves and the bay leaves. Transfer the sausage links to a soup tureen. Remove the chicken meat from the bones and add that to the tureen; discard the skin and bones. Mash some of the beans into the pan juices to thicken the sauce and then pour into the tureen. Carefully stir to mix. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.