A Maine Acadian Recipe from the Maine Community Cookbook, Vol. 2: Poulet et Saucisse en Cocette

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The following is an Acadian, or Franco-American, recipe and remembrance excerpted from the Maine Community Cookbook, Vol. 2.  compiled and edited by Margaret Hathaway and Karl Schatz.  The new cookbook builds “on the success of the award-winning Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook…” andis a brand new collection of more than 200 family recipes, stories, and photos. The Maine Community Cookbook, Volume 2: 200 More Recipes Celebrating Home Cooking in the Pine Tree State, is filled with dishes and stories from home kitchens in all of Maine’s 16 counties, including recipes from well-known Mainers such as Senator Olympia Snowe, historian Heather Cox Richardson, 101-year-old lobsterwoman Virginia Oliver, Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson, best-selling author Abdi Nor Iftin, and summer resident and humorist John Hodgman. At the heart of the cookbook are recipes and stories from everyday Maine families. Breaking bread together gives us comfort and strength, in good times and bad. Whether we’re teaching our kids to cook family recipes over Zoom, or gathered together and sharing them at the table, our food traditions help define who we are, and bring us together as a community.”

Maine has a long and evolving history of a large population of people from French, Francophone or French Canadian descent. Many of the traditions of Maine Acadians are rooted in French culture and heritage. Below is one such recipe passed down through a family throughout the generations.

Poulet et Saucisse en Cocotte by Robyn Norton ~ Berwick, York County

“This is a classic French Canadian/Acadian recipe. Cassoulet has been passed down through the generations of my family because it’s the ultimate comfort food and inexpensive to make, which was always important during the cold winter months.”


3 garlic cloves, minced

2 thyme sprigs

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons cornstarch stirred into 2 tablespoons water, to thicken

1 cup toasted breadcrumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese, for serving

Melted butter, for serving

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 links Italian sausage

1 pound chicken legs

2 chicken breasts, cut into 4 pieces

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cups halved carrots

2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed well

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup tomato purée

28-ounce can diced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In an oven-safe Dutch oven, melt the butter and oil, and brown the sausages. Remove sausages and set aside. In the same Dutch oven, place the chicken legs and breast pieces skin side down, and brown. Remove browned chicken to a plate. Add the onions and celery to the Dutch oven and sauté until translucent. Add carrots and beans, and stir to coat them in the butter and oil. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Place the sausages and breast pieces in the pot and press into the bean mixture so that they are partially submerged. Add the chicken legs on top, skin side up, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 4 to 5 five hours. Remove from the oven, and scoop out the chicken and sausages. Place the meat on a plate. Place the Dutch oven on the stove top and bring everything to a boil. Add the cornstarch and water mixture, and stir to incorporate and thicken. Place the chicken and sausages back on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle with the toasted Parmesan breadcrumbs. Pour a bit of melted butter over all and place under the broiler until golden. Serve in bowls

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