Chicken what??? Say it with me slowwwly – CHICKEN SCARPARIELLO. You know that saying “it tastes like chicken”? Well, this is a chicken dish that does NOT taste like chicken. Instead, it is an explosion of several different flavors happening all at once. It is one of those really splendid taste experiences where you are not sure what to comment on first. It may not taste like chicken, but it certainly tastes like something wonderful has just happened in your mouth with every bite. It is a fabulous twist on the traditional sausage and peppers that is so much more. Just look at it – Oh the colors – this is a gorgeous dish!
CHICKEN SCARPARIELLO is a dish with seemingly no definite origins. No one seems to know where it came from. It smacks of Southern Italy in some ways but my guess is that it is one of those Italian American dishes that just appeared and evolved. Scarpa means shoe in Italian. The name Scarpariello means in the style of the shoemaker. Go figure!
Some like to call it a great Sunday Supper dish. It is definitely that – but to reserve it only for that day would neglect all of those other days when it would be just as welcome.
It is simple to make – but has a definite set of ingredients which make it the authentic dish. Of course, the chicken, but also, the red pepper, the pickled peppers (I like Peppadews!), fresh garlic, broth, and fresh herbs. Some recipes deviate a little by adding or omitting the following: white wine, fresh lemon juice, and mushrooms. It is perfectly fine to use breast meat if you like, but the thighs are soooo tender in this and give the impression of the traditional Piemontese rabbit dishes for which the the Northern Italians are so famous.
You can serve it on its own with lots of Italian bread or over pasta, polenta, or over mashed potatoes as you see it here.
However it got started, and no matter how or when you serve it – you will love this one and want to make it a part of your family tradition or a great meal to introduce to your friends.
COLOR rules the day with this dish! Can you resist?
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
8 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs ( I like thighs best for this!)
Salt and Pepper
Flour for dredging
1/3 C. Olive Oil
4 Links Italian Sausage ( cut into pieces)
5 Whole Garlic Cloves
1 Medium Fresh Red Pepper – cut into pieces
6 Peppadews or Pickled type peppers – cut into strips ( I like a combo of orange and red ones) They are sweet South African peppers that can be found in jars or in olive bars at most grocers.
1/2 lb. Mushrooms ( I like the wild ones!)
1/2 C. Dry White Wine
5 Fresh Sage Leaves
1 Tsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves
1 Long Fresh Rosemary Sprig
2 C. Chicken Broth
Juice of a fresh Lemon
2 Tbsp. Butter
Add some salt and pepper to the flour and mix. Dredge the chicken thighs in this flour.
Brown the thighs in the olive oil – adding more if needed. Then remove the thighs to a platter and set aside.
Add the sausage pieces to the same pan, brown them, and add them to the platter with the chicken.
A look at Peppadews – sweet and luscious – for those unfamiliar and the next group of ingredients to include.
Back in the pan, add the garlic cloves, red pepper, Peppadews, and mushrooms – Cook for about 5 minutes.
The color begins to emerge!
Add the wine to the pan and de-glaze about 3 minutes at a good simmer.
Add the chicken and sausage back to the pan and add the sage, rosemary, broth, and lemon juice. A gorgeous display of color has appropriated your pan!! Stir.
Heat until bubbling. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes – then uncover and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter – melt in.
Remove the garlic cloves, if you like.
How to serve your CHICKEN SCARPARIELLO? Serve it straight up on its own with plenty of Italian crusty bread OR serve it over mashed potatoes as you see in the photo.
Another great way to present this dish is over polenta for a meal with a Northern Italian edge. Of course, it is always delicious over a pasta like Cappellini. However you do it – you will love this dish for the ease of prep and the extraordinary flavor!
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography