The Hairy Bikers have reduced the calorie count of this hearty dish while keeping all the big flavours, by choosing meaty sausages and gammon
By Hairy Bikers
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1.75 hours 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • ½ tsp sunflower oil
  • 6 good quality herby sausages, use gluten free sausages if you are making this as a gluten free recipe
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 medium onions, halved and sliced
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 450g
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
  • 200 g piece lean smoked gammon, trimmed and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 800 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 150 ml red wine, or water
  • 300 ml cold water
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 400 g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 400 g can butter beans, drained and rinsed

For the garnish:

  • handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ large oranges, zested


1. Brush a large non-stick frying pan with the sunflower oil, using the tip of a pastry brush.

2. Add the sausages to the pan and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, turning every now and then until nicely browned on all sides.

3. Meanwhile, trim the celery and peel the carrots and cut them into diagonal slices about 1½ cm thick.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Add the onions to the frying pan and cook with the sausages for 6-8 minutes, stirring regularly until softened and lightly browned.

5. Trim the chicken thighs of any visible fat using a good pair of kitchen scissors. Cut them in half.

6. Add the garlic and chicken pieces to the pan with the sausages and onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, turning the chicken twice until coloured all over. Transfer everything to a large flameproof casserole dish.

7. Stir in the gammon, celery, carrots, tomatoes, red wine and water, then sprinkle over the caster sugar and chilli flakes.

8. Stir in the bay leaf and thyme and season with lots of ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer on the hob, then cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 45 minutes.

9. Take the casserole out of the oven and stir in all the beans. Cover with the lid again and put the dish back in the oven for another 30 minutes.

10. For the garnish: just before the cassoulet is ready, prepare the garnish. Chop the parsley roughly and toss with the orange zest in a serving dish.

11. Serve large portions of the cassoulet in deep plates or wide bowls with a good sprinkling of the zesty parsley garnish on each one.

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