Rustic Roast Chicken with Sweet Peppers and Sausage

Pastured chicken, sweet peppers, sausage, fresh herbs and garlicky croûtons. One of my personal favorites..

Rustic Roast Chicken

Rustic Roast Chicken with Sweet Peppers and Sausage

For the Bone Broth (adapted from a recipe by Thomas Keller)

5 pounds chicken parts such as necks, bones, backs, wings and feet
1 gallon cold, filtered water
1 3/4 cups carrots cut into 1-inch cubes
2 heaping cups leeks cut into 1-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)
1 1/2 cups Spanish onions cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bay leaf

Keller writes “As with all stocks, the goal is to remove impurities while extracting as much flavor and gelatin as possible from the bones, and the maximum flavor from the vegetables and aromatics.  You do this not only through gentle heat, but through gradual heat transitions as well; in other words, you don’t start with hot water, you begin with cold and bring it slowly up to heat”.

Rinse the chicken parts thoroughly under cold water to remove any remaining blood.  This helps to ensure that the resulting stock is clear, not cloudy.

Put all the bones into a large stock pot and add a gallon of cold water, just enough to cover the bones.  Slowly bring the liquid to a simmer and begin to skim as soon as the impurities rise to the top. Continue to simmer and skim until as much of the impurities have been removed as possible.

Add the vegetables and bay leaf and continue to simmer and skim for 45 minutes.  This recipes produces a lightly-flavored, gelatinous stock suitable for soups and braising.  For a stronger stock, simply continue to simmer and skim until the liquid has been reduced by 1/3 in volume.

Turn off the heat and let the stock rest 10 minutes to allow any particles left in the stock to settle to the bottom.

Ladle the finished stock through a strainer lined with a tea towel into a suitably large container, then transfer into quart jars set in a pan of ice water.  Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator to keep for up to 3 days.

For the Vegetables

Split a number of sweet peppers, Spanish onion and plum tomatoes in half lengthwise and place cut side down in a skillet or on a parchment paper-lined tray.  Roast in a 375 degree oven until blistered but not blackened, about 30 minutes.  Set aside and allow to cool enough to handle, then pull the skins off the peppers and tomatoes.

Coarsely chop the vegetables with fresh basil and oregano and set aside.

For the Chicken

Split large breasts and thighs into 2-3 pieces each and season lightly with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper.  Melt a couple of tablespoonfuls of chicken fat in a heavy skillet.  Add the chicken as soon as the fat is shimmering but not smoking, and brown well on all sides.  Transfer chicken to a plate.

Cut 1-2 pieces of Italian sausage on a deep bias so that there is a lot of exposed surface area.  Brown the sausage in the same pan that you used for the chicken.

Arrange chicken and sausage in a Dutch oven containing 1 cup of bone broth as shown below.  Scatter roasted vegetables over the top, and drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and place uncovered in a 375 oven until the chicken has finished cooking, about 15 minutes.

For the Croûtons

Steep a clove of garlic in pastured butter for a few minutes, then toss in roughly-torn pieces of bread and fry until golden brown.  Add chopped parsley and give the croûtons one more toss before setting aside.

To assemble, arrange alternating pieces of chicken and sausage on a plate and top with vegetables.  Tuck in some croûtons here and there, then drizzle all with some of the roasting juices.  Garnish with additional chopped herbs and serve immediately.

This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday

Tomato Sausage Strata with Baby Fennel

Home made sausage, purple basil, Italian cheeses, Roma tomatoes, baby fennel, whole milk, stale bread, brown eggs.

Trim, split, core and chop the fennel bulb.

Saute the sausage with garlic, onions and fennel. I’ve added smoked paprika and red chili flakes for color and kick.

When the sausage is done, turn off the heat and set aside.

Prepare the quiche-like filling by mixing milk, eggs, salt & pepper and dried herbs.

Line a buttered dish with rounds of stale bread.

Add the cooked sausage.

Add the tomatoes and chopped fennel feathers.

Add the cheese.

Some more bread.

Milk/egg mixture and dried basil.

More cheese and fennel. Decorate with the tomato ends if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees until eggs are set and top is crisp and brown.

Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Una bella fetta

Fresh Italian sausage, basil, “ugly ripes”, black gerignola olives, hot cherry pepper and garlic.

Wet mozzarella, insalata panino and grana padano stravecchio.

Chop the tomatoes, squeeze out the water then add them to the pan with the garlic, peppers and dried Italian herbs. Cook until soft, not more than 10 minutes. Drain any excess juice.

Assemble the pie.  I’m using a prepared crust, but you can use whatever you like.  Focaccia and flatbread both work well.  Tomato sauce on the bottom, a little grated cheese, sausage, mozzarella, insalata and fresh basil.

Into a 500 degree oven (don’t forget to preheat your stone) until it looks the way you like it.

Slice, plate and enjoy with a salad of field greens with artichokes and lemon garlic dressing.

Tagliatelle with sausage marinara

This ain’t your mama’s spaghetti. Not unless your mama is Mario Batali, who learned this at the hand of my Uncle Gary, that is.

Fresh, uncured Italian pork sausage, heirloom tomatoes, elephant garlic, sweet hatch onion, fresh egg tagliatelle, hot pepper paste, fresh and dried herbs.

Heat a little olive oil and European butter in a skillet and saute the onions and dried basil and oregano until it begins to caramelize.  Add the garlic and saute another 30 seconds.  Don’t burn the garlic, or you’ll have to start over.

Pulse half the tomatoes in a food processor (or chop by hand if you prefer) and add to the pan.  Let cook until nearly dry, then add the wine.  An un-oaked, soft Italian is best. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the fond from the bottom of the pan so that it adds a slight roasted flavor to the sauce.  If you’re using a non-stick pan you will not have any fond, and your sauce will not be as good.

This would be a good time to start the pasta.  I’ve added turmeric for its color and medicinal properties.

Add the other half of the tomatoes, freshly ground pepper and hot pepper paste. Our sauce now contains both smoky and fresh tasting tomatoes.

Toss in the pasta and fresh herbs. I’m using opal basil, oregano and flat leaf parsley.

Top with some Grana Padano Stravecchio and serve with a multigrain ficelle with olive oil and balsamic.

Somebody get me a stretcher!