I love when I can feed my now-grown-up kids. This weekend though, the list of house guests doubled the morning they were to arrive. Gulp. And the backlog of garden goodies in the fridge has thinned considerably already in my area. But never fear, kids: A little quick thinking and Super Cook has moved into action.
The Hudson Valley sausage would defrost quickly and would pair wonderfully with the already-roasting, local chicken. The carcass was a bonus because it quickly became Saturdayâ€™s chicken soup.Â The dozen small red, white and blueÂ potatoes remaining from our garden portion, plus some red and green garden-pepper strips safely sleeping in the freezer, would round out a colorful, one-dish meal for the hungry hoards. Some green olives and/or capers would be good in this dish, too. I also offered a spinach-arugula salad (also from the garden) and some homemade bread.
Last-Minute Chicken and Sausage (Kind of) Contadina
Start yours from scratch or use leftovers and a frozen stash.
- 1 4-pound whole chicken or 3 to 5 pounds chicken parts
- 2 pounds sweet Italian-style pork sausage, thickly sliced
- 12 small potatoes (2 pounds), sliced and boiled until just tender*
- 3Â garlic cloves, sliced (optional)
- 2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
- 3 to 5 mixed peppers (at least 1 hot one is a good idea), cleaned and sliced, or 1 to 2 cups frozen sliced peppers
- fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme), chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
I began with a roasted chicken (you can buy a cooked one or use leftovers to make this really easy), but you can also begin by baking chicken parts for about 40 to 50 minutes in a 375-degree-Fahrenheit oven. I removed most of the skin after cooking and separated the chicken into large parts.
Brown the sliced sausage in a very large pan and pour off most of the fat. Add the leeks, garlic and peppers, cooking gently until they just begin to soften. If your peppers are frozen ones, add them later with the cooked chicken instead. Add cooked potatoes, turning gently. Finally, add chicken parts to rewarm or finish cooking. To serve, sprinkle with chopped herbs.
*If you have time and can supervise carefully so they donâ€™t dry out, you can probably start with raw, thinly sliced potatoes, which will take about 20 minutes to cook. Or, skip the potatoes and serve the dish over rice or polenta.