Serves 4 to 6
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Chicken scarpariello is an Italian
American dish of sausage and well-browned, skin-on chicken bathed
in a spicy, garlicky sauce chock-full of bell peppers, onions, and
pickled cherry peppers. When done right, it’s a hearty weeknight
supper with bold flavors and varied textures. We wanted our version
to be bright and punchy but balanced, not too briny and not too spicy,
and with appealing textural contrast provided by the tender chicken
meat and crispy browned skin. We started by tempering the heat of
the cherry peppers by removing their seeds. For extra flavor, we
added a couple of tablespoons of the vinegary cherry pepper brine.
After browning the sausage and chicken, we sautéed the vegetables
and added ¾ cup broth and a tablespoon of flour for a sauce with the
perfect consistency—thick enough to coat the chicken and sausage
without being gloppy. We then perched the chicken on top of the
vegetables and sausage pieces to finish cooking in the oven, which
kept the chicken skin nice and crispy. We used sweet Italian sausage
to balance the spiciness of the cherry peppers. For a spicier dish,
substitute hot Italian sausage for sweet.
3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (2 split breasts cut in
half crosswise, 2 drumsticks, and 2 thighs), trimmed
1 teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon 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 (½ 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 upper-middle position and heat oven to 350
degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and
pepper. Heat oil in ovensafe 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat
until just smoking. Add chicken to skillet skin side down and cook
without moving it until well browned, about 5 minutes. Flip chicken
and continue to cook until browned on second side, about 3 minutes;
transfer to plate.
2 Add sausage to fat left in skillet and cook, breaking up meat with
wooden 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 mediumhigh
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 on top of sausage and
vegetables and add any accumulated juices; transfer skillet to oven.
Cook, uncovered, until breasts register 160 degrees and
drumsticks/thighs register 175 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes.
5 Carefully remove skillet from oven. Transfer chicken to serving
platter. Season onion mixture with salt and pepper to taste, then
spoon over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve.