Modern Cassoulet - [Recipe]

This French cassoulet marries the classic tradition with a few contemporary elements, using succulent duck, quality chicken sausage, and chicken thighs. The result is a beautifully hearty dish still respective to the origins deeply enriched with tradition.  

Although this dish is not made with pork, feel free to use regular bacon. I decided to create this cassoulet sans pork because of a food allergy. Cassoulet, the name itself, is derived from the word cassole, this refers to the conventional conical clay pot in which it was originally cooked. This version is refreshingly different and a great dish for family-style entertaining. 

Cassoulet in a dutch oven pot

Modern French Cassoulet by Madison | @Ladyofashion | 


1 bunch fresh thyme, 12 stems, tied 

2 dried bay leaves 

8 whole cloves 

1 bunch fresh parsley (about 50g) 10 stems, tied 

kosher salt 

freshly cracked black pepper 

4 large chicken thighs, skin on, bone-in   

2 to 3 duck breasts, skin on preferably (about 400g to 475g) 

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil 

2 tablespoons duck fat 

5 to 6 chicken sausage links (about 350g to 400g) 

4 shallots, diced  

6 cloves garlic, minced 

¼ teaspoon allspice 

3 whole carrots, skin peeled and chopped into 2cm to 3cm (or 1”) pieces 

2 stalks celery, chopped into 2cm to 3cm (or 1”) pieces 

120ml (½ cup) dry white wine 

1 tablespoon tomato paste 

4- 410g-425g (14 oz – 15 oz) cans white beans (haricot or cannellini beans), drained 

950ml (32 oz) chicken broth 

8 pieces bacon, cooked crisp, and chopped for garnish (I used turkey bacon) 

1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh parsley for garnish 


Prep time: 5 -10 minutes 

Bake: 1 hour 15 minutes. 150°C (300 °F). 

Yield: Serves 4 to 6 persons 



1. Make a Bouquet Garni: In a large empty sachet or a muslin sachet, place the thyme, bay leaves, cloves, and parsley inside of it, secure closed with a drawstring or twine. Set aside. 

2. Use a knife to score the sausages, making three to four slits along the skin, lengthways. Set sausages aside.  


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300 °F).  

  1. 2. Liberally season chicken thighs on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper. Set aside. Repeat this step with the duck breasts (generously seasoning with kosher salt and black pepper). Set aside. 

  1. 3. Heat the olive oil, and the duck fat in a large 4.2Lt (4.5 QT.) Dutch oven or deep oven-safe pot over medium heat. Next, place the chicken thighs with the skin side down in the Dutch oven, and sear for 3 minutes or until the skin is golden brown. Use tongs to rotate, and sear the other side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.  

  1. 4. Place the duck breasts in the same Dutch oven, and sear each side for 2 minutes, or until the skin is browned. Remove the duck and set aside on a plate. Keep the oil in the pot, and brown the sausages really good on both sides, until the skins have slightly blistered. Remove the sausages and set them aside. 

  1. 5. Now, add the shallots to the Dutch oven, sauté them in the same oil for 3 minutes. (*Use a wooden spoon and scrap any skin and leftover browned bits from cooking the meat. This will help to flavour the onions even more.) Generously season the onions with kosher salt and black pepper. 

  1. 6. Add in the garlic, and allspice with the shallots, cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring them occasionally.  

  1. 7. Now, add in the carrots and celery to the Dutch oven and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes with the garlic and shallot mixture. Add in the white wine, and the tomato paste to the mixture. 

  1. 8. Add the cans of white beans to the Dutch oven, then pour in about half of the chicken broth in. Add in the bouquet garni sachet, pressing it down in the middle.  

  1. 9. Next, use tongs to place the chicken thighs, and sausages in the Dutch oven, then add in the duck breasts, pressing everything in on top of the beans and vegetables to fit. Next, add in more chicken broth until the Dutch oven is almost filled, but leaving room from the top at least 2 cm or so (or about 1 in). *You may have some broth leftover, if so, just set it aside. 

  1. 10. Carefully, place the Dutch oven in the oven uncovered, and bake for 1 hour. After an hour, check the beans and carrots to see if they are tender. Then, cook a further 15 minutes.  

  1. 11. Remove from the oven. Carefully remove the bouquet garni sachet. Stir the pot, then use a small spoon to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste if needed. Serve in large bowls, placing a large scoop of beans, vegetables, a sausage, and one chicken thigh for each person. Remove the duck breasts, and cut into slices, dividing the slices between each bowl.  

  1. 12. Garnish with bacon pieces, and fresh parsley. Serve with a slice of crusty artisan bread or a French baguette. 


*Helpful notes:  

  1. 1. You may use kitchen twine or trussing string to tie the fresh herbs together before placing them in a sachet for the bouquet garni. Cheese cloth can be used, if you do not have muslin or empty tea sachets.  

  1. 2. If you don’t have shallots, use one large yellow onion.  

  2. 3. Alternatively, you may use a larger Dutch oven or ceramic pot (4.7L or 5QT.) for this dish. 

Cassoulet on a plate

Recipe by Madison of FASHION TALES blog. View more foodie inspiration here.