Butternut Squash, Chicken and Sausage Cassoulet

I am drawn to all the squashes being stocked at the groceries and markets. They are not only tasty, but pretty as well. There are tons of creative ways to incorporate them into your holiday décor. I am definitely partial to food that I can decorate with!

DSC_0924

I love that they are play the role of both vegetable and starch. It’s sneaky, they go both ways. In fact they double their character by being used in both savory and sweet sides of the kitchen.  This week though I stuck with the savory side, a cassoulet type soup/stew.  Rich and hearty and packed with fall flavors.

DSC_1012

1 pound raw chicken breast, diced into 3/4 inch cubes
1 tablespoon Herb de Provence
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 red pepper, roasted, seeded, skin removed and diced
1 green pepper, roasted, seeded, skin removed and diced
12 ounce sausage crumbles, turkey or pork
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and diced in to 3/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon chopped sage
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup sliced green onions

DSC_0964DSC_0977

Start by marinating the chicken with the Herb de Provence, salt and pepper. Allow the chicken to marinate at least 1 hour. Roast your peppers in high temp oven or over a grill and remove seeds and skin, then dice and reserve.

DSC_0982

Place a heavy bottom stock pot over medium high heat and add sausage crumbles. While stirring sausage add in the chicken, squash, onions, celery and sage. You may need to add a touch of oil depending on how much fat leeches out of the sausage. When onions are translucent and there is a bit of color on the squash and chicken pour in the chicken stock.

DSC_1020

Turn the heat to medium and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes. Add in the roasted, diced peppers and adjust with salt and pepper to your taste. Before serving add the green onions.

DSC_1005

Serves 4-6 guests

This is a quick and easy fall dinner, one that gets better with age, so it’s a perfect do ahead meal for your busy weeks coming up! Just have to sacrifice one of your display squashes!

DSC_0990

Warm wishes and happy Thanksgiving!!

Advertisements

South Carolina Deep Dish Pizza

This is a dish from my brother, Sir Ryan’s South Carolina kitchen that has been talked about for a few years.  Over time he has worked on convincing me to give it a try, and though it sounded fabulous and I wanted to make it, it just never happened.  While Ryan and his family were visiting over the Christmas holiday he put one together and proved that this pie was all that.  We couldn’t resist giving it another try ourselves a few weeks later and for once the tables turned and I found myself calling the novice chef brother of mine for advice.

DSC_0188

Make this as simple or complicated as you like, buy premade dough or make it fresh yourself, buy pizza sauce or create your own.  For me this is a fast, decadent meal, and I prefer to keep it that way.  Maybe if I had some Jersey tomatoes available I would make my own sauce.

DSC_0085

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ ounce grated parmesan cheese
  • 1# Pizza Dough, make it fresh or buy premade from the market
  • 10 ounces pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 2 ¼ ounces turkey pepperoni
  • 4 ½ ounces (1 cup) cooked turkey sausage crumbles
  • 1 green pepper, small diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons julienned basil

DSC_0098DSC_0104

Preheat oven to 350.  Sauté the garlic, peppers, onions and basil until fragrant and set aside. Gather the remaining mise en place and 9” spring form pan, or another deep round pan you have in your kitchen arsenal.  Coat the pan with olive oil and dust the parmesan cheese evenly around the surface.  Place the dough ball in the pan and push the bulk of the dough towards the edges.  Start the layering process with a sprinkling of shredded mozzarella, followed by the pizza sauce and then the meat and vegetable toppings.  Apply pressure to the toppings, causing the dough to move towards the edge and grow up the pan.  Top with cheese and layer in the same order, each time pushing down to move the dough up the sides of the pan.  End the layering with a healthy amount of cheese and a dusting of parmesan.  Bake for 60- 70 minutes, getting the top to be bubbly, golden, mouthwatering perfect.

DSC_0134

This is a pretty massive deep dish, certainly enough for 4 filling servings.  After removing it from the pan (the spring form pan makes the removal so easy), the pie just looks sinfully irresistible.

DSC_0207

Easy for a big game, a Friday family night or even a hump-day perk.

Just a reminder that you can learn from anyone- Thanks Sir Ryan for treating us to this amazing pie!