Recipe of the Week
Grilled Chicken Scarpariello
November 1, 2012
I ate this dish for the first time in the Bronx with my sister-in-law and her family. I had taken a long weekend to explore different flavor profiles in the city and this one really stood out.
I have (of course) taken it to the next level by adding the flavor of the charcoal grill. What doesn’t taste better right off the grill?
Don’t let the length of the recipe deter you. The end result is a dish that really elevates the humble chicken to new heights.
*2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast cut into medallions
*1 lb link of sweet Italian sausage
*2 – 12 ounce beer
*2 large baking potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
*3/4 lb portabella mushrooms sliced
*1 sweet onion sliced
*1 red bell pepper julienned (seeds removed)
*6 pickled cherry peppers julienned
*3 cloves garlic minced
* ½ cup dry white wine
*1 cup chicken stock
*2 Tablespoons butter
*6 Tablespoons EVOO divided
*Kosher salt to taste
*Cracked black pepper to taste
*Dry basil to taste
*1 sprig of fresh rosemary
* ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
*2 Tablespoons of corn starch
*Juice of 1 lemon
Place the chicken breasts on a flat surface in the freezer for approximately 1 ½ hours. This will allow the chicken to stiffen and will make cutting much easier. Cut the chicken into ¼ inch thick medallions.
Liberally season the chicken pieces to taste with salt, black pepper and dry basil. Drizzle 2 Tablespoons of EVOO over the chicken pieces. Refrigerate the chicken until the grill is ready for cooking.
Prepare enough charcoal in the grill for high heat. When the coals are ready, arrange them for direct cooking.
Place a grate on the grill and coat it with EVOO. Allow the grate to preheat.
Grill the chicken approximately 3 minutes on each side until the pieces are golden brown.
Remove the chicken from the grill. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Meanwhile, peel and cut the potatoes into small uniform pieces. Rinse the potatoes several times to remove as much of the starch as possible. Place them in a pot and cover with cold water.
Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes for 3 minutes. The potatoes should not be completely cooked at this point.
Drain the potatoes in a colander and spread them in an even layer on a baking sheet. While they are still steaming, season them with salt and pepper to taste. Allow them to cool to room temperature before proceeding.
Heat 2 Tablespoons of butter and 2 Tablespoons of EVOO in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the potatoes and cook until the bottoms are caramelized.
Carefully turn the potatoes and continue cooking until they are golden brown.
Remove the potatoes from the pan and drain them on paper towels. Taste them while they are still hot and season them again if necessary with salt and pepper to taste. Set the potatoes aside until ready to use.
Choose a large pan with a lid and unroll the length of sausage. Using a fork, prick holes in the sausage casing every 4 inches or so. Pour the beer over the sausage and heat on high until it begins to boil. Turn down the heat and cook covered at a low simmer for 15-18 minutes. (It is very important to simmer the sausage very low. If it is cooked too fast, it will burst the sausage.)
Refrigerate the sausage until it is cold. Cut the link crosswise into medallions approximately ¼ inch thick.
Heat 2 Tablespoons of EVOO in a large frying pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the sausage medallions until they are caramelized on both sides.
Remove the sausage medallions and drain them on paper towels.
Meanwhile, drain all but 2 Tablespoons of oil from the pan. Add the red pepper and cook over medium high heat for approximately 3 minutes.
Add the onions, garlic and cherry peppers and continue cooking for another 3 minutes until the vegetables are just beginning to wilt.
Season the vegetables with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the white wine and vigorously scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze.
Increase the heat to high, add the rosemary sprig and mushrooms and continue cooking until the wine has been reduced by half. This will take 4-5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, grilled chicken pieces, potatoes, sausage and parsley to the pan. Cover the pan and leave the heat on high until the mixture comes to a boil.
Reduce the heat and remove 3 Tablespoons of the liquid and mix it with 2 Tablespoons of corn starch. Stir to make sure that the ingredients are fully incorporated to form a slurry. Slowly whisk the slurry back into the base stirring constantly. Cook for an additional minute until the broth becomes thick and rich.
Remove the pan from the heat. Squeeze the juice of 1 fresh lemon over the dish and stir so that the flavor is fully incorporated.
Remove the sprig of rosemary and discard.
This dish can be served immediately or is even better when the flavors are allowed to meld when refrigerated.
I like to serve this with a garden salad and crusty bread.