Chicken Scarpariello ♭

Scarpariello in southern Italy is a piquant sauce with crushed tomatoes, basil, and cheese. However, in the United States, these ingredients are not used at all. Here, in fact, Scarpariello almost always refers to a classic chicken-and-sausage preparation that is very popular in the eastern U.S.

The name comes from “scarparo,” or Neapolitan shoemaker. Chicken Scarpariello is thus also known as shoemaker’s chicken. Tangy, rich, tart, spicy, and tender, my version of it was inspired by a Beat Bobby Flay competition on the Food Channel one night and then completed using classic online sources and my dietary guidelines. It is yet another Italian chicken-and-sausage alternative to the others found among these pages.

The classic forms of this dish utilize chile peppers of significant Scoville presence and potatoes. These are missing in this version.

  • 2 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • flour for dusting
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet Italian sausage, halved
  • ½ medium onion, sliced in strips
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ red bell pepper, seeded, sliced in strips
  • ¼ yellow bell pepper, seeded, sliced in strips
  • ¼ green bell pepper, seeded, sliced in strips
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ salt-free chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 4” sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp <butter>
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Season the flour with pepper (and salt if desired) and dredge the chicken thighs in it. Put the oil in a medium-sized sauté pan and heat at a medium-high setting. Cook the chicken thighs, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, 810 minutes (they will be undercooked). Transfer them to a plate.

Cook the sausage halves in the same pan, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 68 minutes (they will not be fully cooked). Transfer them to a plate.

Cook the onions, garlic, and bell peppers in the same pan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan, until tender and beginning to brown, 5-8 minutes. Add the wine, stock, and vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Add the rosemary and oregano, bring to a boil, and remove from the heat.

Imbed the chicken and sausages into the onion-bell pepper mixture and transfer the pan to the upper rack of a preheated 400°oven. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 510 minutes.

Melt the butter in a small pan, add the lemon juice, and whisk until well mixed.

Remove the sauté pan from the oven and transfer its contents onto two plates, each with a thigh and sausage half, topped with the onion-bell pepper mixture. Drizzle the lemon butter over each plate, top with parsley and lemon zest, and serve immediately.

Serves 2.