Ledger David Cellars – Vineyard and Winery in Southern Oregon

Pan Roasted Chicken with Sweet Sausage and Peppers

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By Robert Trottmann

This recipe makes an amazing pairing for the 2011 Sangiovese. It looks a bit complicated, but it isn’t.  It does require spending time in your kitchen though, tending to the Soffritto, brining the chicken and roasting the peppers.  It is a relaxing dish to make and is a great way to enjoy a glass of wine while visiting with family or friends while you fill your home with fantastic smells.  While you don’t have to brine the chicken, the effect of doing so really enhances the dish.   Once you start brining, you’ll be hooked.  It is simple to do and does wonderful things to your poultry, fish and other meats.

The Soffritto will be the newest trick in your arsenal of awesome food tricks and you’ll want to have some around to use all the time.

I encourage you to take this one on. The results are worth the effort and the Sangiovese will thank you!

Enjoy,

Robert

Pan Roasted Chicken with Sweet Sausage and Peppers

Paired with 2011 Ledger David Cellars Sangiovese

Ingredients

Two 2-1/2 to 3 Lb. Chickens

Chicken Brine (See below)

Canola Oil

3 Sweet Italian Sausages (Taylor’s from Cave Junction is perfect)

Pepperonata Rustica (see below)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fleur de sel

¼ Cup Flat Parsley

Cut chicken into 8 pieces (2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 breast halves, & 2 wings).  Pour brine (See brine recipe below) into a container large enough to hold the chickens, add the chicken and refrigerate no longer than 12 hours (no longer or the chicken will be too salty).

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Remove the chicken from the brine (discard the brine) and rinse the chicken under cold water and remove any herbs or spices sticking to the skin.  Pat dry the chicken or let air dry.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat some canola oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add the chicken thighs and drumsticks and cook for three minutes.  Add the sausage and cook until the chicken is golden brown and the sausage is browned and crisp.  10-12 minutes (it won’t be fully cooked); once the chicken is browned, turn the pieces over and sear the other side for 1 minute.  Transfer the individual chicken pieces and the sausages to a plate as they are ready.

Season the chicken breasts and wings with salt and pepper, place skin-side down in the sauté pan and cook until the skin is crisp and golden and the chicken is almost done.  About 8 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.

Drain any remaining oil from the pan and return to the heat.  Add the Pepperonata to the pan, bring to a simmer and add the chicken tucking it into the peppers.  Cut the sausages in half and nestle them into the pan.  Transfer to the oven and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, and sprinkle with fleur de sel, top with the parsley leaves and serve directly from the pan.

The Pepperonata Rustica

Ingredients

6 Yellow Bell Peppers

6 Red Bell Peppers

Canola Oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces Anaheim or other mildly warm peppers, drained, peeled and seeded.

1-1/2 cup Soffritto (see below)

1-1/2 Chicken or Vegetable stock

¾ Teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1 Tablespoon minced chives

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (it makes clean up a breeze).

Cut the bell peppers lengthwise in half and remove the stems and seeds.  Toss the peppers with oil to coat and salt and pepper to taste.  Arrange the peppers cut side down on the baking sheets, the red peppers on one and the yellow on the other.

Roast the peppers until the skin is blistering, 30-35 minutes for the red and 35-40 for the yellow, do not allow the edges to blacken.  Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container with a lid.

When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel them.  Tear them lengthwise into strips about ¾” wide.  Tear the Anaheim’s the same way.  Combine all the peppers, the Soffritto, stock and chipotle in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes to soften the peppers completely and meld the flavors.  Transfer to a bowl or platter and sprinkle with the chives.

The Soffritto

Ingredients

3 cups finely diced yellow or Spanish onions

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

16 ounces seeded and diced plum tomatoes (I use canned tomatoes this time of year)

½ teaspoon minced garlic

Combine all the onions, oil, and a pinch of salt into a 8-9” sauce pan and set over medium heat.  As soon as the oil starts to simmer, reduce the heat to low.  It is important to maintain an even LOW heat. The onions need to stew but slowly caramelize.  Adjust your heat so that the oil bubbles gently. The liquid will become cloudy as the onions release there liquid, but once the water moisture has evaporated the oil will clear.  Cook for about 2-1/2 hours or until the onions are a shade darker than a golden raisin and the oil is perfectly clear.  Check the pan often and scrape any onions that are caramelizing on the edges back into the oil.

Meanwhile make a quick tomato puree.  Halve the tomatoes and scrape out the seeds.  Finely chop the tomatoes and add to the caramelized onions.  Cook for 2-2-1/2 hours longer or until the onions and the tomatoes start to fry in the oil.  The mixture will start to sizzle and small bubbles will cover the entire surface. Gently stir the mixture—the onions and tomatoes will separate from the clear oil.  Turn off the heat and add a pinch of salt and the garlic and let the Soffritto cool.  The Soffritto will keep covered in the refrigerator for a week.  Drain it before using.  The oil can be used to start another Soffritto.

The Chicken Brine

5 Lemons cut in ½

12 Bay Leaves

4 ounces flat parsley

1 bunch thyme

½ cup honey

1 head garlic/ cut each clove in half

¼ cup black pepper corns

2 Cups kosher salt

2 gallons of water

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil for 1 minute stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then chill in the refrigerator before using.  NOTE: This is enough brine for 10 lbs. The brine can be kept refrigerated for 3 days.

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