Monday, January 3, 2011

Hey Hey, It's Cassoulet Day!

Oh my - the first day back to the real world.  I was not excited to hear the alarm go off at 5:30 this morning. Waking up before the sun is just not on my list of favorite things to do, but neither is laundry, yet both have to be done.

Since I don't really like for my kids to eat dinner at 9pm on a school night, it was time to break out the old handy dandy crockpot.  What a nice feeling to walk in the door and have dinner practically ready.

Tonight's Dinner Special at Table 4 Five is:

  • Smoky Chipotle Cassoulet
  • Baby Arugula Salad
  • Multigrain French Bread
  • Merlot

According to Webster, a "Cassoulet" is a casserole of white beans baked with herbs and meat. I'm pretty sure that "Cassoulet" is French for chili, at least this smoky chipotle version seems to be. It was really good, though. When my picky five-year-old said "This is really good soup, Mom", I suddenly heard the Hallelujah Chorus playing in the background.

The recipe could not have been any easier, except for the chicken cutting part.  It's a shame that I am so knife challenged, since I love cooking so much. I made it through the poultry dicing with no accidents - Yay, me!

I found this recipe in my Crock-Pot cook book, but didn't have a couple of the ingredients. Would I let that stop me? No way, Cassoulet, that's how some of the best concoctions are made - substitutions.  Anyway, here is my version of the recipe:

Smoky Chipotle Cassoulet

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp Smoky Chipotle Flavored Hot Sauce
1 medium onion, diced
1 can (15 oz) navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro

Combine all ingredients except cilantro in crock-pot. Cover; cook on Low 7 to 8 hours or on High 4 to 5 hours. Add cilantro at the end of cooking time.

How easy was that?  So, very easy - it should go on your bucket list of recipes.

Until next time...

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