Published January 1, 2000.
Can you make a great cassoulet in a few hours without sacrificing the deep, melded flavors that are characteristic of this dish?
Comforting and delectable as it is, cassoulet is just too much trouble for most cooks. It can take three days to make, and the ingredients can be both hard to find and difficult to prepare.
We wanted to see if there was a way to streamline the preparation of this dish without compromising its essential character.
Instead of time consuming (to prepare) and difficult (to purchase) duck confit, use brined chicken legs cooked in bacon fat to simulate the smoky flavor and moist texture of the confit. With our mock confit in place, we made short work of the balance of the recipe: the meat to use for stewing (we decided on the flavorful blade-end pork roast or thick lamb shoulder chops), canned versus dried beans (the canned beans were out because they fell apart during cooking), and the type of sausage (the classically correct French sausage being too hard to find, we substituted kielbasa or andouille sausages; we liked them for their smoky flavor).list of recipes