March 6, 2012

Simple Turkey Sausage Cassoulet

Warming, hearty, and healthy... This turkey cassoulet is a simple but impressive dinner for a winter weeknight. Meaty hunks of turkey sausage, big butter beans, and soft and creamy sweet potatoes make this a filling, not fattening, dish. The generous use of chicken stock, herbs, and other aromatics lend a deceivingly rich taste.

Best yet, it's ready in a snap. Relax or clean up while it bakes in the oven... Or set the table like a cozy and romantic French Bistro, which you'll be transported to the minute this cassoulet is placed in your dish.

Light some candles, play some music, but whatever you do, keep the dutch oven on the table while you eat... That serving spoon will be returning for seconds, which you can certainly afford to indulge in!

Simple Turkey Sausage Cassoulet: serves 4 generously
2.5 T. olive oil, divided
4 uncooked turkey sausage links
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. sea salt
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried sage
1 large bay leaf
1 16-oz can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 16-oz can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup whole-grain panko bread crumbs
2 T. grated parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Preheat medium sized dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the turkey sausage and cook until browned on all sides and heated through. Remove to a cutting board. Add the onion to the pan, stir, and cover. Meanwhile, slice the turkey sausage into 1" half moons.  Once the onion is golden, add the garlic and salt and stir, 30 seconds. Pour the white wine into the pan and deglaze the brown bits on the bottom.

Turn off the heat, then add the remaining ingredients to the dutch oven, up until the bread crumbs. Stir well to combine. In a small bowl stir together the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, remaining olive oil, and black pepper. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the cassoulet mixture. Cover the dutch oven and transfer into the oven. Bake 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 10 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

Press the breadcrumbs gently down into the mixture from the top to absorb some of the stock. Serve in shallow bowls immediately, with crusty bread.

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