Friday, January 13, 2012

Chicken Scarpariello Recipe


As Chef Emeril would announce at the beginning of his “Emeril Live” cooking show on  the Food Network, “Stuart is in the house.” By way of introduction, Stuart is my brother-in-law, a gourmet with extraordinary good taste, and will be our special chef of the day. If you love Italian food, I promise you’re in for a treat.

Whereas I tend to favor French food, Stuart on the other hand loves Italian. All of his married life, he’s lived in close-in Long Island and dined more times than I can keep track of in some of New York City’s finest Italian restaurants, including Mario Batali’s award winning Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca in Greenwich Village. Recently he and his wife retired and relocated near us in the mountains. While we were home recently he prepared one of his Italian favorites for us as the very first guests in his new home – Chicken Scarpariello.


Chicken Scarpariello is an Italian dish and means “chicken shoemaker’s style,” because a cobbler might have eaten this dish. However, my research confirms that Scarpariello may have also been a testament to the resourcefulness of Italian immigrant cooks who managed to achieve the seductive flavors of their homeland from the few ingredients they found in America.

Many recipes for this dish call for a whole frying chicken, but Stuart used  chicken thighs for their depth of flavor and ease of serving. It’s a dish perfectly suited to serving family style at the table, as the photo shows below. Grazie Stuart for being our chef of the day and I hope you’ll bless us with more of your delicious Italian food in the future.


Chicken Scarpariello
Adapted from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen – serves 6

12 chicken thighs with bones and skin (2 per person)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
½ pound sweet (also called mild in some markets) Italian sausage (preferably without fennel seeds), cut into 1-inch pieces
10 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 pickled cherry peppers, cut in half and stemmed
¼ cup red-wine vinegar
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs, then season generously with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add to the skillet as many pieces of chicken that will comfortably fit without touching, skin side down, taking care not to crowd the skillet. You will most probably need to do brown the chicken in batches. Cook the chicken, turning as necessary, until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.

The secret to gold-brown chicken pieces is to leave them be as they cook. They will brown better if you aren’t constantly turning them or checking on their progress.

Remove chicken pieces as they brown, and drain them briefly on paper towels. Place the drained chicken thighs in a roasting pan large enough to hold all of them in a single layer. Repeat the cooking with the remaining chicken, adding more oil to the pan as necessary and adjusting the heat to prevent the bits that stick to the pan from overbrowning. As room becomes available in the skillet after all of the chicken has been added, tuck in pieces of sausage and cook, turning until browned on all sides.

Remove chicken and sausage from the pan, add garlic, and cook until golden, being careful not to burn it. Scatter the cherry peppers in the skillet, season with salt and pepper and stir for a minute. Pour in the vinegar and bring to a boil, scraping into the liquid the browned bits that stick to the skillet, and cook until the vinegar is reduced by half. Add the white wine, bring to a boil, and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the roasting pan and stir to coat. Place the chicken in the oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and sticky, like molasses, about 10 minutes. If the sauce is still too thin place the roasting pan directly over medium-high heat on the stovetop and cook, stirring until it is reduced about a minute or two. Once the sauce is thickened, toss in parsley and serve.

Buon Appetito from my featured chef of the day, my brother-in-law and good friend Stuart.

This recipe will be linked to Miz Helen’s Country Cottage Full Plate Thursday and Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum. Won’t you join us?

56 comments:

  1. Bravo to Stuart! Love this dish and his advice is spot-on.

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  2. It looks absolutely gorgeous and I am sure it tastes as good as it looks. I will be trying this soon. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Sam,
    This looks wonderful I shall file this one away. Love the serving dish, too.

    Carol

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  4. This does look like a treat! Love it with the sausage and chicken. I wish Stuart would come over and cook for us! :)

    Have a great weekend Sam!

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  5. A hearty main dish for a cold winter meal! Thanks...looks just wonderful.

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  6. How lucky you are to have such a wonderful cook live nearby now! This looks like such a delicious dish. I love chicken thighs because they can really cook and never get dry and tough like chicken breasts. The sauce sounds wonderful!

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  7. You are lucky to have such a great cook as friend! That dish loooks stunning and ever so mouthwatering!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  8. I think this is a must for our table soon. I can imagine the depth of flavor and it looks delicious. We've been using more chicken thighs. I'm putting the pickled cherry peppers on my grocery list right now.

    Thanks for sharing your gourmet brother-in-law with us.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  9. Ahh...a toast to the chef!! To have someone like this in the family is like having a bundle of gold in the back pocket. Love this recipe. And congrats to the chef on retirement. Obviously his skill will still be working overtime!!

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  10. I'm with Stuart - let's eat Italian and with chicken, sausage and just a few (10) garlic cloves I know it had to be good. I'm thinking we were even available to drive over that day. We'll look forward to meeting some day soon.

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  11. Stuart did a good job. I love chicken scarpariello and I like his recipe. He hit all the right notes...the chicken on the bone, the sausage and cherry peppers...and the vinegar!

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  12. A toast for the cook! The Scarpariello looks amazing. I am always ready for Italian. This goes on the menu for next week. Thank you, Stuart!

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  13. One of my most memorable meals was at Babbo. Stuart, this looks amazing and I can actually smell it over the internet. Bravo. Will try this.

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  14. Please give Stuart my compliments for his amazing Chicken Scarpariel. It looks delicious, I can almost taste the wonderful flavor of this combination of seasons. Thank you so much for sharing with our 1st Anniversary Party at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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  15. Together the two of you can make a feast Sam! I find that many French Bistro dishes could easily have their roots in Italian cuisine or vise versa. Happy cooking to the both of you!

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  16. Sam, how nice for you that your BIL and wife live near you (except when you're in FL. That would be some really great cooking between your two homes!

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  17. Waw, What a clever & sunshining dish! I make a lot dishes like this especially in summer time!

    A job well done,Stuart! Hugs!

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  18. I love chicken dishes like this and must give it a try. Thank you Stuart!!! :)

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  19. It's so fun to have a chef in the family. That looks sooooo delicious!

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  20. Stuart looks like he knows his way around the kitchen - a man after my own heart! His dish looks fantastic! Isn't it nice having family close by!

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  21. You can tell Stuart is from LI, because this is a favorite dish in Jersey and NY! On every Southern Italian restaurant menu. I haven't made it in so long, and will make it for Henry tomorrow for the Giants game! He will be thrilled! Thanks Sam!

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  22. Sam,
    Here is my recipe, show Stuart if he is still there!

    http://www.staceysnacksonline.com/2009/11/sunday-suppers-chicken-scarpariello.html

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  23. Chicken shoemaker...what a cute name! The dish is new to me, but it looks totally my type of food.

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  24. What a gorgeous dish! I love simple, intensely flavorful dishes like this one. It's the sort of recipe that reminds you that Italian food is not just spaghetti and meatballs - there's a lot to be said for subtlety and freshness.

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  25. We love Italian here too and love Lidia. That dish looks wonderful and the serving platter is gorgeous!

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  26. What a colorful dish served in an equally colorful piece of pottery! Thank goodness Stuart was in the house! I'm certain you enjoyed it! -- Joann

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  27. What I wouldn't give to have a gourmet cook that invites me to a dinner like this! I have all of the ingredients, on hand, too. This is a beautiful dish, and it looks tasty too!

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  28. Wow, looks so gorgeous and so beautiful!

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  29. Thank you, Stuart! This sounds and looks delicious!

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  30. What a great post filled with love of food and friendship; great combination.
    Of course I printed this recipe out; speaks to my soul. Thank you.
    Rita

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  31. Love the dish, love the recipe, love the CHef (lol) all look amazing:)

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  32. Lucky you to have your brother so close. My brother is a great cook also, but he lives in Michigan. I will definitely be making Stuart's chicken. I have eaten at Babbo and Po (when Mario had it) and loved his Italian dishes.

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  33. Yum, looks great! Now the question is - does Stuart have to fly to Long Island for his Italian food fix, or has he found restaurants in the mountains that he likes? I am always on the lookout for good places to eat out! :)

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  34. I have been to Vegas many times but have not eaten at Mario's Batali restaurant yet. I usually prefer French cuisine over Italian but many next time we will try it. That dish looks so good.

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  35. That meal looks scrumptious and I love the plate as well :) Diane

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  36. Sam, I love soulful meals like this one. Your brother-in-law knew how to please on this dish. Wow. Love it.

    A life time of good food brings such opportunity to the kitchen. Cheers to Stuart!

    Velva

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  37. How exciting! What a fun time and delicious dinner!

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  38. Oh i can just taste those juices and succulent flavors right now! awesome

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  39. Such a beautiful dish on such a beautiful plate! So nice to have an adventurous cook like Stuart around. Glad to learn about this shoemaker's stew. Those Italians! So resourceful and creative.

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  40. Oddly enough, I'm not an Italian food lover either. My dearest friend is, so we frequent every Italian restaurant in the area! (I can always have fresh fish!)
    You BIL is right...the thighs have the best flavor AND if I was going to go Italian, other than the basics like spaghetti, I'd go for this!

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  41. THis looks soooo good, so glad you shared it.

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  42. Wow, this chicken dish looks beautiful on your colored platter, really drop dead gorgeous! I enjoyed reading about the history of the dish, It's hard to choose between Italian and French but this is Italian style food at it's finest, that's for sure!

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  43. As a lover of all food Ialian, I am very excited about this dish and can't wait to try it at home. Thank you Stuart for sharing and Sam, thank you for sharing your BIL with us. How lucky for you and Meakin to have him retire close by.

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  44. This looks and sounds delicious! You are one lucky girl!

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  45. This looks and sound delicious. I am intrigued by the vinegar.

    I wish I had a brother-in-law who cooks.

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  46. Lucky you to have another terrific cook in the family!That is a great meal!! Beautiful serving platter as well!

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  47. Sam, I made this tonight and it was outstanding! Tell your BIL Stuart that it was a real winner with us. Thanks for a recipe that will be made again and again.

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  48. Oh, man, does this look amazing!! So many wonderful flavors. What a wonderful treat from your talented BIL~

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  49. You are a lucky girl Sam...having your brother-in-law cooking this delicious chicken dish. I like that combines chicken, sausage and the cherry peppers, beautiful colors!
    Hope you are having a wonderful week :-)

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  50. Dear Sam, How nice for your brother-in-law to cook dinner for you. It looks absolutely delicious. I am sure you have many more delicious meals on the way. Blessings, Catherine xo

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  51. I would love to borrow your brother-in-law. The chicken looks delicious and I love the colorful plate, it is on.

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  52. Oh Sam, how fortunate that you have so much culinary talent along with your BIL - - and now he's closer to you to boot! I can imagine this dish and the many more to come that the two of you prepare! What a great post!

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  53. What a gorgeous dish! We love Italian food and this is just perfect, a chicken dish just the way we love it for a flavorful, homey family meal. Yum!

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Sam