Carrying on the rich French tradition in which chefs and villagers compete for the best cassoulet – a rich, slow cooked, bean and meat-based cass...

Carrying on the rich French tradition in which chefs and villagers compete for the best cassoulet – a rich, slow cooked, bean and meat-based casserole 23 notable chefs from across the country put their own unique spin on the iconic dish for D'Artagnan's Fourth Annual Cassoulet War.  The event was held at Hotel Eventi, in benefit of Action Against Hunger.  And here you can try your hand at recreating this award winning cassoulet.

After more than 300 guests enjoyed the various cassoulets, the following winners were announced:

  • Best Authentic Cassoulet –  Chef Alexander Burger of Bar Boulud in New York
  • Best Daring Cassoulet – Chef Kiran Verma of Kiran's in Houston, TX
  • Most Popular Cassoulet –  Chef Guillaume Ginther of Le Coq Rico in New York, NY

However, the true winner of the event was Action Against Hunger, as the event raised more than $10,000 in support of the nonprofit organization.

"For the fourth consecutive year, the D'Artagnan Cassoulet War proudly gathered the nation's top chefs and invited them to share their spin on a world-class dish," said Ariane Daguin, CEO, owner and co-founder of D'Artagnan. "Congratulations to this year's winners – Chef Alexander Burger, Chef Kiran Verma and Chef Guillaume Ginther – and thanks to all the competitors and food enthusiasts who celebrated a taste of Southwest France in New York City."

The panel of esteemed judges for last night's event included Chef Philippe Bertineau (chef & ambassador of L'Academie Universelle de Cassoulet), Benjamin Bragard (CEO, Bragard), Chef Jean-Louis Dumonet (chef, president Maitres Cuisiniers de France), Chef Andre Soltner (French chef and author), Chef Sara Moulton (host of Sara's Weeknight Meals on PBS), Chef Laurent Tourondel (L'Amico, The Vine), Anne-Claire Legendre (Madame le Consul General de France a New York) and Chef Elizabeth Falkner (Top Chef judge).

Event sponsors include La Compagnie, Chateau Peyros, Georges VigourouxChateau de Laubade, and Bragard.

For additional information on the event, or on D'Artagnan, visit http://www.dartagnan.com/

Award Winning Recipe by Alexander Burger of Bar Boulud


Tarbais bean stew, smoked Toulouse pork sausage
duck confit, garlic
Serves 8



1 whole duck about 4 lbs with gizzards OR 4 Duck legs
½ cup Kosher or Sea salt
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
8 cloves garlic, crushed
3 dried bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
8 sprigs thyme
4 cups rendered duck fat
1 clove garlic cut in half
6 sprigs thyme

1. Separate duck into 6 pieces. 2 Breasts bone in, 2 Wings, 2 Thighs. Pat Dry. Be sure to reserve all
bones and gizzards. In a mixing bowl combine sea salt, peppercorns, coriander, garlic, bay leaf,
rosemary, and 8 sprigs of thyme. Rub the salt mixture into the side of the duck with the meat and
place the fat side up. Store overnight uncovered.

2. Preheat oven to 250 F. Rinse the cure off of the duck with cold water. Pat dry. Bring a 13×3 inch Le
Cruset cast iron pan up to low heat and place the duck skin side down. Render the fat slowly, after
10 minutes bring the heat up to medium. Once the duck skin is golden brown gently flip the duck
pieces with tongs and cover completely with the rendered duck fat. Add the additional garlic and
thyme. Bring to a boil, cover and put into a 250-degree oven for 1.5 hours. Be sure that the duck is
tender but not totally falling off of the bone.

3. Remove pan from oven. Keep the duck in the fat and bring to room temperature. (about 1 hour)
Remove duck from the pan, reserve 2 cups of the fat and put the rest in the refrigerator to cool.

For the Broth:

6 cups water (Or Chicken Stock)
1 whole Carrot
1 whole Onion, cut in half
1 whole Celery stalk
1 sachet (Head Garlic, 2 cloves, 1 tsp black pepper corns, 1 fresh bay leaf, 8 sprig thyme, 1 sprig
Neck & Remaining duck bones

1. Bring all of the ingredients to a boil and let simmer for one hour. Be sure to skim any excess fat or
impurities using a ladle.

2. After one hour strain the liquid and discard the duck bones and vegetables. Return the liquid back to
pot and keep hot.

For the Cassoulet:


1.5 lb Tarbais beans, or cannellini (Soaked overnight)
1 Iberico Ham Bone
1.5 lb Pork Skin, fat removed and julienne
1 lb slab bacon, lardons
4 Toulouse Sausages (Or Pork Sausage without fennel)
1 Duck Confit (or 4 legs) duck heart and gizzards
4 Teaspoon Duck Fat
1 Cup Carrot, medium dice (about the same size as beans)
2 Cup Onion, medium dice (about the same size as beans)
1 Cup Celery, medium dice (about the same size as beans)
1 Cup Tomato, medium dice, peeled and seeded
2 Teaspoon Garlic, sliced
1 Teaspoon Tomato Paste
Bouquet Garnis (1 Bay leaf ½ t corriander seed, 4 sprigs flat leaf parsley, 3 sprigs thyme, 1 sprig
rosemary, 1 sprig oregano, 1 leaf sage, bundled together and tied with a strip of green leek)


1. Gently poach the ham bone, pork skin, and bacon for 10 minutes in the hot broth. Add sausages and
continue poaching for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and remove all meats, placing them in a
separate plate to cool. Reserve liquid and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 250. Heat a 14x11x5 inch Le Cruset Dutch oven to medium heat on the stove. Add
carrot, onion, and celery sweat until vegetables are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic,
cook for another two minutes, add tomato paste and mix well. After add Chopped tomato.

3. Add beans to the vegetables and cover with about 6C of the Broth or until the beans are covered.
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for an hour or until the beans are ¾ of
the way cooked.

4. Remove Dutch oven from the stove and add the duck legs, sausages, bacon, pork skin, and ham
bone. Add Bouquet garnis. Cover with liquid about ¾ of the way up and put in oven for two hours.
After 2 hours adjust seasoning and turn the oven up to 350 so that the meat can begin to
caramelize. Once the beans are cooked thoroughly, and the meat is tender then season the broth
and serve.

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