Like the others I substituted chicken leg quarters as I could not find duck, but it was still fall-off-the-bone tender, and probably lower in fat for it as well. I also used spicy Italian chicken sausage and hopefully cut back on the fat even more. Apart from the meats being tender and delicious, these are by far the best beans I have ever eaten. I cooked dried beans most of the way in a crock pot and finished them in the dutch oven with the meats. They absorbed all the flavors and I could have eaten them by themselves! I'm not sure that this would be company-worthy but I will definitely make this again, hopefully with the duck next time.
detailaddict Posted: 02/17/09
kaycee Posted: 12/27/10
I have made this dish many times and my family loves it. We have an uncommon cold snap today in sunny FLorida, and it just said cassoulet t me. I use the lamb, duck and bacon from the supermarket, although I do use boneless duck breast as my kids prefer it this way. I get garlic sausage at a local polish butcher. Fresh bread crumbs mixed with melted butter make all the difference in the topping. I love to serve this with a rustic crusty bread, crisp new green salad and good Pinot Noir. I recomend this dish for company, I divide it into individual caserole dishes before putting on the bread crumb topping and browning as this makes a nicer presentation.
bostonsmaman Posted: 01/28/09
Rich, flavorful, hearty and filling. This recipe does take a long time to make, so I "cheated" a bit and used a precooked duck quarter that I stuck in during the last hour of cooking. I did tuck 3 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs with the lamb, and it gave immense flavor. I actually couldn't tell the difference between the duck and chix thigh, so next time I'll save the $9. My next attempt will include a better sausage--spicy & garlicy. I used garlic chicken sausage, but it was too bland. I'd also like to try it from dried beans b/c hubby said they got mushy. This is an expensive meal, about $40 for the ingredients, but well worth it!
loveleigh98 Posted: 01/12/09
This recipe was a lot of work, but it was worth the effort and I would gladly make it again. Just not on a Monday! Subbed boneless skinless chicken thighs for the duck, and it was still good. Next time I will try pork in place of the lamb. My husband wants to try it with venison and duck. My picky 5 year old even ate it. I served it with shepherds bread and a salad.
Streets Posted: 01/10/09
We have always wanted to try a cassoulet, but thought it would be too time-consuming and not healthy. Finding it in Cooking Light convinced us to do it. It was outstanding! Yes, it has to cook all afternoon, but we had time to do some minor home improvements while occasionally checking it. The flavors are incredible - the meats are so succulent - it's comfort food at gourmet level.
MollyMc Posted: 03/13/09
This dish was wonderful, it was one of the best things I've made. Not as time consuming as I thought, i had chopped up the onion and bacon the night before, and had set out the ingredients to make it for a small dinner party the next night. I only used 4 duck legs, and used spicy chicken sausage instead of regular. I poured out all the fat from both the bacon and duck and omitted the oil. I also added 3 fresh thyme and parsley sprigs while the duck and lamb were cooking in the oven. THe beans were not mushy either-next time I will use fresh bread crumbs instead of store bought. Served it with a goatcheese, pistashio and beet salad, and made the lattice blueberry pie from this site. This dish is perfect for a winter get together and my guests all had seconds.
yessicasue Posted: 02/03/09
This recipe has great flavor. I could not find any duck at my regular market, so I used chicken thighs and it was excellent! For the sausage, the spicy Italian sausage recommended is awesome in this. This is worth the time it takes to make, and it is pretty simple, so don't be intimidated!! Also, there was enough left over to freeze for another meal, so it will save you from cooking dinner on a different night.
Reedster Posted: 03/02/09
Ditto on the 5 stars! We stayed "on recipe" as best we could, but had to cut the cooking time short since it smelled so good! We used duck this time but had trouble finding it so will try it with chicken next time as others suggested. Good wine pairing idea.
PaulMKE Posted: 01/27/10
Worth the labor. Very good. I made some honey, ginger, and organge juice glazed parsnips and carrots on the side which were very good
aalock7337 Posted: 02/06/10
This was a ton of work. It tasted okay overall but just not worth the amount of work (literally more than an hour and a half hands on cooking time) and cost (more than $50).