Spicy Italian-Style Chicken with Sausage, Peppers, and Onions—Scarpariello
This dish is fairly spicy. To manage the heat, adjust the amount of cherry peppers as desired. If you cannot find hot cherry peppers, pickled banana pepper rings can be substituted. If your skillet is not ovensafe, add the cornstarch mixture to the skillet in step 3 (instead of step 5) along with the vinegar and simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the sausage and transfer mixture to 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Arrange the chicken over the mixture and bake as directed. To make this dish with chicken thighs, increase the cooking time in the oven to about 25 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of chicken registers 175 degrees. Serve with a green salad and mashed potatoes, orzo, or soft polenta.
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 8 Ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 Pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves, trimmed of excess fat and skin and cut crosswise into 2 or 3 pieces (see illustrations below)
- Table salt and ground black pepper
- 1 Medium onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1 Large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch strips (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 –5 Pickled hot cherry peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch strips (about 1/4 cup)
- 3 Medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 Teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/3 Cup white wine vinegar plus 2 additional tablespoons
- 3/4 Cup low-sodium chicken broth plus 1 tablespoon
- 1 Teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 Teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add sausage and cook, stirring to break sausage into 1/2-inch pieces, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer sausage to plate lined with paper towels. Remove skillet from heat; pour off fat into small bowl and reserve; wipe out skillet with paper towels.
2. Return skillet to medium-high heat and heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil until smoking. Pat chicken dry and liberally season with salt and pepper. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving until well browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken and brown on other side, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to large plate. Remove skillet from heat and pour off fat into bowl with sausage fat; wipe out skillet with paper towels.
3. Return skillet to medium-high heat and heat 1 tablespoon reserved fat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and cherry peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until bell pepper begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sugar, 1/3 cup vinegar, and 3/4 cup broth; bring mixture to boil, scraping up browned bits from pan bottom.
4. Add sausage and chicken (with any accumulated juices) to skillet, arranging chicken pieces in single layer, skin side up, on top of peppers and onion. Transfer skillet to oven and cook until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees, 18 to 22 minutes, removing smaller pieces sooner if necessary. Meanwhile, combine cornstarch, thyme, and remaining tablespoon broth in small bowl.
5. Carefully remove skillet from oven (handle will be very hot) and transfer chicken, skin side up, to platter or individual serving plates. Place skillet over medium-high heat and stir in cornstarch mixture. Simmer sauce mixture until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Off heat, taste sauce and add up to 2 tablespoons vinegar. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce around chicken, being careful not to pour it directly over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.