Do you have a husband or significant other who works from home?
To quote L, “Dad can work from home anytime he wants to.” While that’s not exactly the case (love 8 year olds’ minds!), his schedule is pretty flexible and hopefully it will stay that way – eek!
See, the day changes for me when M is home, and things I normally have a hard time fitting in, I get to accomplish. For example, instead of being stuck in nap jail while B is snoozing way, I can jet out for a run. Instead of waking B from his nap to rush into the cold to meet the bus, M is here to cover. We can all have a lunch date together. Little things like that change the day for me, especially in the lonely chilly months of winter. It’s also oh so nice to have his help from the late afternoon on, instead of waiting for the (sometimes late) train to bring him home, barely making the boys’ bath and bed times.
The other day it was a work from home day (yea!), and I had these sandwiches on the agenda for the evening. While perfectly delicious, they weren’t a challenge for me. I needed to take advantage of the extra set of hands here. So, I had a change of heart from my carefully scheduled c’s picks and picked up the ingredients to make an oh so fancy, oh so impressive chicken cassoulet. I do this from time to time, you know, to keep the blog interesting.
So, the funny thing is, it’s not all that fancy at all. I mean, it smells and looks that way, but it’s a total fake out. It was almost a let down to me as to how quickly this came together! I’m talking 30 minutes, max. It’s totally a perfect one pot entertaining dish, but I went the traditional route that evening for M. It’s rare I set a plate with the standard that all men love: meat + starch + veggie. Yes, we had cassoulet with green beans and grainy warm bread. All on one plate. And it was devoured.
I think he might work from home even more often, fingers crossed.
- 4 whole chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks; about 10 ounces each), excess fat removed
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, ground with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Coat the chicken legs with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the legs on a large heavy rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven; leave the oven on.
- Meanwhile, heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, or until crisp. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the fennel and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the rosemary, thyme, garlic, and ground fennel seeds and cook for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Stir in the broth and beans.
- Transfer the bean mixture to a 13×9×2-inch baking dish. Nestle the chicken legs in the beans. In a small bowl, mix the panko and Parmesan cheese to blend. Sprinkle most of the panko mixture over the beans (don’t worry if the juices are soaked up by some of the crumbs) and the remainder over the chicken.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the bean mixture is bubbling all over and the panko topping is crisp and golden brown. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.