How to make Traditional Chicken Scarpariello

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Start to Finish: 45 minutes

Servings: 6

Difficulty: Easy

Chicken, garlic, sweet sausage and cherry peppers come together in a rich wine sauce in chicken scarpariello. Traditional recipes typically call for four 1-pound chickens or two 2-pound fryers and 1/2 pound of sausage, but you can halve the recipe with no major changes in cooking time.

(Recipe adapted from Lidia Bastianich)

Ingredients

  • 2 fryer chickens, separated into thighs, wings, legs and breasts
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 4 pickled cherry peppers, halved and seeded
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, roughly chopped

Directions

Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season it on both sides with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Place the chicken thighs and wings in the pan. Fit sausage in the available space in the pan.

Brown the chicken and sausage on both sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate lined with paper towels.

Next, add the legs, breasts and remaining sausage to the pan. Add more olive oil if needed. Brown the chicken and sausage on both sides and transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the garlic and peppers and cook them until aromatic, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the vinegar, and add the wine. Simmer the wine until it reduces by half, about 3 minutes.

Add the stock to create the scarpariello sauce and bring it to a simmer. As the sauce starts to simmer, place the chicken, peppers and sausage in a deep roasting pan.

Taste the scarpariello sauce and season it to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the roasting pan.

Turn the chicken over in the sauce a few times to fully coat it. Place the roasting pan in the oven.

Roast the chicken until the sauce has the consistency of molasses and the chicken thighs are heated to 165 F with an instant-read thermometer. Garnish the scarpariello with freshly chopped Italian parsley, and serve.

Cooking Notes

  • Serve chicken scarpariello with a loaf of crusty peasant bread.
  • Scarpariello is better the next day. Keeping the dish overnight in the refrigerator effectively marinates the ingredients, combining the flavors of the garlic, sausage, chicken and wine. The result is a more full-bodied flavor and aroma.

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