Cookbook review by Tracey Zabar
This book is overflowing with family-friendly recipes. From the simplest pasta to the often scary artichoke, there are directions to make these dishes at home. Scali bread? Meatball subs? Pizza? Shrimp scampi and pasta alla Norma? It’s all here. Serve today's recipe for chicken scarpariello with some ziti and a big salad. This week we are giving away a copy of the cookbook and Zabar’s favorite Black & White Duo Cookie Box.
Enter to win Big Flavors from Italian America and Zabar’s favorite Black & White Duo Cookie Box! Just send us an email at email@example.com with the subject "Big Flavors from Italian America" and you'll be entered to win. The winner will be selected randomly on 3/26/2020 and will be contacted by email. For an extra chance to win, refer a friend. (Note: The Big Flavors from Italian America (America’s Test Kitchen) cookbook and Zabar’s favorite Black & White Duo Cookie Box can be sent to the 50 United States and DC, age 18+ only. Cannot be sent to P. O. boxes.)
Why This Recipe Works
This Italian American dish pairs chicken with sausage and a tangy sauce based on bell peppers, onion, and pickled cherry peppers. We wanted our version to be bright and flavorful, not too briny and certainly not too spicy. We started by tempering the heat of the cherry peppers by removing their seeds. We wanted some extra flavor, so we added just a couple of tablespoons of the vinegary cherry pepper brine. After browning the sausage and chicken, we sautéed the vegetables and then nestled the chicken and sausage in the vegetables to finish cooking in the oven, which kept the chicken skin crispy. A tablespoon of flour and ¾ cup of chicken broth resulted in a sauce with the perfect consistency—thick enough to coat the chicken and sausage without being gloppy.
Serves 4 to 6
We used sweet Italian sausage to balance the spiciness of the cherry peppers. Feel free to substitute hot Italian sausage if you prefer a spicier dish.
• 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (2 split breasts cut in half crosswise, 2 drumsticks, and 2 thighs), trimmed
• Salt and pepper
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
• 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
• 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and sliced thin
• 5 jarred hot cherry peppers, seeded, rinsed, and sliced thin (1/2 cup), plus 2 tablespoons brine
• 5 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
• ¾ cup chicken broth
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add chicken to skillet, skin side down, and cook without moving until well browned, about 5 minutes. Flip chicken and continue to cook until browned on second side, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate.
2. Add sausage to fat left in skillet and cook, breaking up with spoon, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towel–lined plate.
3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add cherry peppers, garlic, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook for 30 seconds. Add broth and cherry pepper brine and bring to simmer, scraping up any browned bits.
4. Remove skillet from heat and stir in sausage. Arrange chicken pieces, skin side up, in single layer in skillet and add any accumulated juices. Transfer skillet to oven and cook until breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register 175 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes.
5. Carefully remove skillet from oven (handle will be very hot). Transfer chicken to serving platter. Season onion mixture with salt and pepper to taste, then spoon over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve.
Excerpted with permission from Big Flavors from Italian America (America’s Test Kitchen).
Tracey Zabar's Chocolate Chip Sweets: Celebrated Chefs Share Favorite Recipes is available here.
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