Cooking From Every Angle

Chicken All Jazzed Up

March 9, 2010 • 30 Comments

Merrill

Recently my fiancé, Jonathan, and I went on a double date with his mother, Charlene, and her fiancé, Maurice. It was Jazz Night at Colucci’s, an old-school Italian joint in Northern New Jersey just down the street from Charlene’s apartment (also Jonathan’s childhood home); Charlene had gone to high school with the owner, Joey, who greeted all of us -- even me, whom he’d never set eyes on before -- with a big hug and a smile, and a bellow of “AVVOCAT!” for Jonathan, who is an attorney.

We ordered antipasti and economy-sized glasses of the house white, and the headliner for the evening, a locally renowned jazz guitarist wearing a black fedora emblazoned with his name in sparkling rhinestones, addressed the crowd. He informed the small but attentive audience, seated at a cluster of small tables covered in white cloths, that while his main pursuit was the jazz guitar, he also dabbled in vocals; he plucked out a couple of classic tunes and then launched into what ended up being a fairly exhaustive survey of 20th century American music -- heavy on the Sinatra and Motown, it also included a couple of Bee Gees numbers and a rousing version of “Brick House” (to which Charlene and I shimmied alone on the dance floor).

Because of Jonathan’s previous descriptions of Colucci’s, I’d anticipated an entertaining evening -- and I certainly got it. What I didn’t expect was great food. Although the foil-wrapped butter pats were ice cold (as Jonathan had told me they would be), and the salad laced with pallid wedges of out-of-season tomatoes, my entrée, Pollo Scarpariello, was somewhat of a revelation. Tender morsels of chicken breast and chunks of sweet Italian sausage swam in a simple white wine, mushroom and sundried tomato sauce, reminding me of a dish I used to make regularly when I was just getting into cooking as a serious pursuit. I’d dredge bite-sized pieces of chicken breast in flour and brown them in a big pan, along with slices of sausage. Then, using the browned bits of flour in the pan, I’d make a slightly thickened white wine, shallot and rosemary sauce for the meat, brightening it with lemon juice and a pinch of hot pepper and folding in artichoke hearts right at the very end. Sometimes I used green olives instead of artichokes, and sometimes the sausage didn't make it into the recipe, but the technique of coating the meat in flour before browning it always made for a velvety, rich sauce that cloaked the chicken with its fragrance.

Below is an updated version of the recipe, using bone-in chicken thighs, which I prefer these days. Feel free to use small pieces of white meat if you'd like -- just make sure to brown them quickly and reduce the sauce before adding the chicken back to the pan for just a few minutes at the very end.

Chicken with Sausage, White Wine and Artichokes

Serves 6 to 8

  • 4 Italian sausages, sweet or hot, about 1 pound in weight
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 lbs. chicken thighs, bone in and skin on (about 8 large thighs)
  • 1 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large sprig rosemary
  • 1 cup chicken stock 
  • 1 12 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 lemon   

 

1. In a large sauté pan, cook the sausages in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat until brown on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, transfer the sausages to a cutting board and let them rest for 5 minutes. Cut the sausages into diagonal slices about 1/3 of an inch thick. Turn the heat back up to medium and brown the sausage slices well on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Put the flour in a shallow bowl and season it with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the chicken thighs liberally with salt, dredge them in the flour and dust off any excess. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and then the chicken pieces, skin side down. Do not crowd the chicken – you may need to do this in two batches. Turn the heat up to medium-high, but keep an eye on things to make sure nothing burns. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 8 minutes total, remove and set aside.

3. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan and set back on the stove over low heat. Add the shallots and cook for a minute, stirring frequently. Add the garlic cloves and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots and garlic start to turn golden, another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes if using and cook for another minute.

4. Add the white wine and the rosemary sprig and cook until the wine is reduced by half, scraping up all the nice brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and the chicken pieces, skin side up. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat so it’s just simmering and cook uncovered, turning the chicken pieces once, until the meat is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Remove the rosemary sprig and discard, then add the sausage and the artichoke hearts to the pan, stirring gently to immerse in the sauce. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Simmer for a few minutes more to warm the sausage and artichokes, then squeeze the lemon over everything and give it one more stir. Serve immediately with roasted potatoes or a simple risotto.

Jump to Comments (30)

Comments (30)

Default-small
Default-small
New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

One other thing . . . My son, who before dinner declared that he doesn't like artichoke hearts, said afterwards, while raving about how well the dish turned out and declaring it a keeper, that he thought the artichoke hearts "were very tasty." I think the sausages, which provide a rich flavor to the oil used for the aromatics and chicken, and therefore to the sauce, are the key to this dish. Love it!!

Default-small

over 4 years ago saltboxandbrownbread

I can't get enough artichoke hearts! Definitely on the menu for next week!

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Let me know how it goes! Fyi, AntoniaJames' cooking notes below might be of interest.

Avatar

over 4 years ago fineartdaily

Thanks - this will be perfect tonight. I was in a chicken rut.

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Me too!

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Made this last night for the dinner party -- leap of faith of course as I hadn't test driven it first -- and was so pleased, as was everyone else. Huge raves. I turned the heat off and covered the pan right at the point in the instructions where it says to cook for 15 to 20 minutes, and let it sit on the stove for about 45 minutes while doing other things in the kitchen, then simmered for about 30 minutes and it turned out beautifully. Served with roasted potatoes, roasted carrots and roasted Brussels sprouts and the simple apple cake taught to me by my Italian host mother (which I've tinkered with over the years of course). Wanted to make a crostata (Maria Teresa Jorge's) but client demands on time did not permit. Will post soon the recipe for the appetizer I created, using some feta that I just *happened* to have in the fridge . . . . . Anyway, Merrill, thanks for creating the recipe for this easy, spectacularly tasty dish!!

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad to hear it was a success. Using thighs instead of white meat makes this dish so much more forgiving, and I'm sure the longer cooking time made them nice and tender. Thanks for sharing your technique for holding the dish when you have company!

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Holding the dish also allowed the juices from the sausages to flavor the sauce more. The sauce was so tasty!

Catherinejagers

over 4 years ago CatherineTornow

I'm not sure which one I want more . . . the rhinestone fedora or these chicken thighs!

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

That hat almost came home with me...

Img_0423

over 4 years ago coffeefoodwritergirl

Great recipe (and story) Merrill! Love the technique of dredging meat in flour, then browning and adding wine. I make a stew using the same process and it really works great. I can't wait to try this. The artichokes look great (but the olives tempting as well...!)

Profile

over 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Man, this sounds good, and perfect for a weeknight meal. Also, I've been artichoke-obsessed lately... something about them just reminds me of springtime. Maybe a theme option?

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

It's definitely on our short list!

Title01

over 4 years ago Teri

Is anyone else gaining a little extra weight this year? :)

Zester_003

over 4 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Did Louis Prima show up this time?

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Merrill, how heavy are the four Italian sausages, combined? We have two or three different sizes in the butcher counters here, depending on where you shop. Thanks!

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Good question. I used about a pound total.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yum! Yet another recipe I can make on the stove top. Thank you Merrill!

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You're welcome! I love one-pan stovetop cooking too.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Excellent! What a great recipe, and what a wonderful story. I learned quite at the last minute that we'll be entertaining on Thursday (yes, day after tomorrow . . . . . Mr. T likes to keep my life interesting by making dinner party plans, chez nous, on very short notice without consulting me), so this solves one problem -- what to make -- quite nicely. You saved my day, Merrill!!

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I'm so glad! Let me know how it goes.

Image

over 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Great story. It sounds like you had a lot of fun.

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

It was one of the most entertaining evenings I've had in a long time. What I neglected to mention is the fact that the "dance floor" was hopping for most of the night!

Farmer's_market

over 4 years ago amysarah

Sounds delicious. Big dredger here too - that tiny bit of flour clinging to the chicken makes a big difference. Usually I just use AP flour (always handy), but sometimes I keep Wondra around for dredging - its superfine grind works really well. Speaking of old time grocery items that still have huge appeal - love that you use jarred marinated artichoke hearts here - very appropriate for an old school recipe and I have to admit that I've never lost my love for them, from when I was a kid and they were a 'delicacy' - like tinned smoked oysters. (Not the same as fancier ones from a seaside smokehouse - just a whole 'nother thing ;-)

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Same here! I love a fresh steamed artichoke with vinaigrette for dipping, but I still have a fondness for the jarred variety. Wondra is a great option too.

Default-small

over 4 years ago SallyM

Love your story Merrill and can't wait to try the chicken - my kids don't like bones, so i'll make it with boneless, skinless thighs and hopefully they'll eat it - thank you!

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

That should work nicely!

Cathybarrow_allrecipes_%c2%a9_2014

over 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Oh my gosh, this looks heavenly. Going into this week's rotation immediately. BTW, I recently came upon grilled artichoke hearts, vacuum packed and refrigerated, at Whole Foods, and I expect I'll substitute those.

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 4 years ago Lizthechef

Nice tip re the ones at WF, Mrs. WB and thanks, Merrill for a terrific story and on-my-fridge-to-make recipe.

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I'll have to keep an eye out for those guys. Thanks for the tip!