Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 43: Chicken Scarpariello

So, I happened to be channel surfing the other day, (the ONLY type of surfing I do), when I stumbled upon a show called "Best Thing I Ever Ate." It happened to be the Las Vegas edition. Chef Anne Burrell was talking about this chicken dish she had only seen at this place there and how good it was. I agreed with her that it looked amazing so I attempted to look up a recipe for it.

This happens to be one of those Italian dishes that everybody who has an Italian grandmother has their own family's version of it. So, I used the best food sense that I have (learnt from various food shows over the years) and pulled together what seems to me the best of all of them.

My family thanks me from the bottom of their stomachs! :^D

The chicken is so tender. The sausage adds a not-too-spicy kick as does the cherry peppers. There's not a bit about this dish that disappoints! It is a dish that I am not ashamed to call delicious!

Most of the recipes called for bone-in chicken, but we only had boneless skinless available. No idea if the bone-in stuff would add anything. Just FYI.

Simple too! Fry up the sausage, brown the chicken on both sides, sauté the onions and garlic, add white wine and chicken stock (can skip the wine and add more stock or water if desired), simmer for 20 minutes, enjoy!

We chose to serve it over a bed of rice pilaf which soaked up all the sauce. You could go with a side of roast potatoes (or no side at all) and it would just make it more soupy. Soupy is more traditional, just so ya know!


3 chicken breasts, cut in half (your choice of bone-in or not)
1 pound sausage (cut into bite-size pieces) (we used Hillshire Farms)
Extra virgin olive oil (for oiling the pan)
Salt (we used Kosher) (for seasoning the chicken)
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup white cooking wine (if opt out just add the same amount of more stock)
1 cup hot cherry peppers, cut into 1/4 slices
1 cup hot cherry pepper juice (from the jar)
1 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp oregano (3 sprigs if fresh)


1. Heat about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Cook the sausage until well browned and remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.

3. Season the chicken well with salt and add it to the sausage fat in the skillet and brown on both sides and remove it from the pan to a plate.

4. If necessary, add more olive oil to the skillet and heat it back up over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Add the white wine and reduce it by half, making sure to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the skillet.

6. Return the chicken and sausage back to the skillet and add the cherry peppers, pepper juice, chicken stock and oregano to the pan.

7. Bring to a boil then reduce it to a simmer. Continue to simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Then remove the cover and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

8. Add more chicken stock if it has reduced too much. Taste and season according to your preferences.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 42: Chicken Piccata

Having chronic health issues means part of this blog's purpose is putting recipes out there that our 16-year-old (how can he be 16??) can follow. He's becoming quite the chef! He's even putting meal ideas out there to try. How awesome is that!?

One of those meals is chicken piccata. He saw it on Worst Cooks in America on Food Network, and just wanted to try making it.

Am I ever glad we tried it! It's really really good! Creamy-lemony with capers served over a bed of rice pilaf is perfection.

He learned how to filet chicken breasts in half as well as fine-tuned his chopping skills (veggies), and then learned about thickening sauce with butter. All in all, a very educational meal experience for him.

The amazing part of teaching him cooking skills is watching when he goes to restaurants (Disney restaurants were especially fun for me) and asks culinary questions of the wait staff. They are always amazed and that makes me proud! I know he can judge how a meal is cooked, and if need be, he can explain why he needs to send a dish back to be redone. And the recipes. He will always ask for the recipes of dishes he enjoys.

A side bonus of him learning this is his eating habits have greatly improved! He used to be a junk food snacker. Now he enjoys cutting fresh veggies or fruit!

Now if I can just teach him portion control.... Given that he's a healthy teenage boy? Yeah, I'm dreaming!


2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied then cut in half
Kosher salt and black pepper, to season chicken
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped


1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off excess and rest on a baking sheet.

2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of the chicken and cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove it from the pan and transfer to a plate. Repeat, adding another 2 tablespoons of butter and oil, with the remaining 2 pieces of chicken. Place them onto the plate with the first 2 pieces of chicken.

3, Into the skillet, add the lemon juice, chicken stock and capers. Bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Taste for seasoning needs.

4. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a platter.

5. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour over chicken and garnish with parsley.