Friday, September 30, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred Forty-Three (Chicken Scarpariello, Unlikely Sage Style)

“It’s better to be blind and be shown the way, then to bluff one’s way into a dark abyss and fall from a cliff.’  Anonymous –(from a person who should be famous).

So was the advice from a friend after I explained my dilemma of being completely ignorant about the topic of conversation of a recent dinner party.  In other words, “listen and you shall learn, but don’t feign knowledge of the unknown, lest you wish to play the fool.”

Again, I am the beneficiary of some great advice from a not-so-famous person with many big ideas with no venue to expound.

Until now, that is….

The Lunch Box Chronicles is happy to announce that it will occasionally offer words of wisdom and recipes from an unlikely sage who also happens to be a great cook.

In addition to being at a loss for words at the dinner party, I was at a loss of ideas for making dinner a few days later.  Plan of Action? Make a call to the unlikely sage.  Get a recipe. Problem solved.

Chicken Scarpariello
Some simple advice was procured “Make Scarpareillo, The Shoemaker’s Dish in Italy.  You Can’t Go Wrong.”

He was right.  I didn’t go wrong.  This was magnificent.  And it is even better a few days later.

3-4 Tbs. Olive oil
3 Links  Sweet Italian sausage (about 1 lb)
2 Lb. Boneless breast of chicken (though this is usually made with chicken in the bone)
 1 Medium yellow onion, finely diced
3-4  red potatoes cut in small cubes
4 –8 Cloves garlic, peeled, and chopped
1/2 pound of mushrooms sliced
1 Cup dry white wine
2 Tbs. Fresh basil, finely chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

(Could have used red pepper flakes, pickled cherry peppers, lemon, org and lemon, but did not in this recipe)
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, then add just enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Add the sausages and cut up chicken and sauté, regulating the heat to reduce spattering. Turn regularly until they’ve browned; about 8 minutes. Remove and reserve.
In separate skillet, add the onions, garlic and mushrooms, sauté until browned.  Add slightly boiled chopped potatoes and sauté until done.
Raise the heat to high in the meat skillet, and add the wine. Boil for about 2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen any bits of chicken and sausage that have caramelized on the bottom of the pan.  Add the onion, garlic, mushroom, potato mixture.  Continue to simmer.  Salt and Pepper to taste.  Add chopped basil as the end.
Serve over polenta and with Spelt Right rosemary bread crisps.

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