Traditional French Cassoulet

8 servings


12 hours 10 minutes

total time


1 pound dried cannellini beans

3 tablespoons kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume

1 quart homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

3 packets (3/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin, such as Knox (see note)

2 tablespoons duck fat (optional)

8 ounces salt pork, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

6 to 8 pieces of chicken thighs and drumsticks, or 4 whole chicken leg quarters

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound garlic sausage (2 to 4 links, depending on size)

1 large onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)

1 carrot, unpeeled, cut into 3-inch sections

2 stalks celery, cut into 3-inch sections

1 whole head garlic

4 sprigs parsley

2 bay leaves

6 cloves


In a large bowl, cover beans with 3 quarts (2.8L) water and add salt. Stir to combine, then let stand at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse beans; set aside.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Place 4 cups (946ml) stock in a large liquid measuring cup and sprinkle gelatin, if using, over top. Set aside. In a large Dutch oven, heat duck fat (if using), salt pork, and pork shoulder and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 9 minutes (if not using duck fat, cook pork with no additional fat). Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl, leaving rendered fat in Dutch oven, and set aside.

Season chicken thighs or duck confit with pepper (do not add salt) and place skin side down in Dutch oven. Cook without moving until well-browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool to room temperature.

Add sausages to Dutch oven and cook, turning occasionally, until well-browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to bowl with salt pork. Drain all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot.

Add onions to Dutch oven and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until onions are translucent but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add drained beans, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, cloves, and stock/gelatin mixture. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce to low, cover Dutch oven, and cook until beans are slightly softened but retain a bite, about 20 minutes.

Cover cooled chicken or duck and transfer to refrigerator. Using tongs, remove carrots, celery, parsley, bay leaves, and cloves from pot and discard. Add pork and sausages to pot and stir to incorporate. Beans should be almost completely submerged. Transfer to oven and cook, uncovered, adding remaining 1 cup (237ml) stock halfway through by pouring it carefully down side of pot as necessary to keep beans mostly covered, until a thin crust forms on top, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Break crust with a spoon and shake pot gently to redistribute. Nestle chicken or duck into the Dutch oven, skin side up. Return to oven and continue cooking, stopping to break and shake crust every 30 minutes, until crust is deep brown and thick, an additional 1 hour 30 minutes. Serve immediately.


Serving Size

Serves 6 to 8


641 kcal

Total Fat

37 g

Saturated Fat

13 g

Unsaturated Fat

0 g

Trans Fat



101 mg


1379 mg

Total Carbohydrate

41 g

Dietary Fiber

9 g

Total Sugars

4 g


36 g

8 servings


12 hours 10 minutes

total time
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