New Orleans Red Bean “Cassoulet”
Recipe by Chef Jeff Mall, down home: downtown
Red Bean “Cassoulet”:
6 duck confit legs in duck fat, store bought and already prepared
6 cups chicken stock or broth
1 ham hock
1 pound dried light red kidney beans, rinsed and picked over
3 thick slices bacon, diced
1 andouille sausage (8 ounces), diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded, deribbed,and diced
4 green onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
4 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
11⁄4 cups fresh bread crumbs
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Zin Dry Rub
Zin Dry Rub:
3 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons garlic powder
11⁄2 tablespoons dried oregano
11⁄2 tablespoons dried thyme
11⁄2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons onion powder
11⁄2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
11⁄2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
To make the rub, combine all the ingredients in a small bown and stir to blend well. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Makes 1 heaping cup.
For the “cassoulet,” remove the duck confit legs from the fat; reserve 1⁄4 cup of the fat and set the legs aside.
In a large soup pot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer over medium heat. Add the ham hock and cook until tender, 1 hour.
Add the beans, reserved duck fat, bacon, sausage, red and green peppers, green onions, garlic, the 1⁄2 cup parsley, the thyme, cayenne, pepper flakes, bay leaf, and water to the soup pot. Increase the heat to high and bring to a full rolling boil; cook for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender, about 2 hours, adding water as needed to prevent them from becoming too dry. Using tongs, transfer the ham hock to a plate and let cool to the touch. Remove and discard the skin. Shred the meat and stir it into the beans. Season with salt and pepper and let cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, the 3 tablespoons parsley, and the olive oil. Pulse to mix evenly. Divide the red beans among six 11⁄2-cup ramekins or ovenproof soup bowls and top evenly with the bread crumb mixture.
Put the duck legs in a baking dish and sprinkle evenly with the dry rub. Place the ramekins of beans and the dish of duck in oven and bake until the beans are golden brown and bubbling and the duck legs are crisp and golden, about 25 minutes. Place a duck leg on top of each casserole and serve.
Makes 6 main-course servings.
Photography by Alan Campbell Photography