Years ago I spent a few months working in an old Italian restaurant as I waited for the plans to be approved for a new restaurant I would be opening. I needed to keep working and this job just happened to be available. It didn’t pay very well, but as far as anyone knew I was just an experienced line cook , I had never let on exactly how experienced I was. Sometimes that was a good thing.
I remember the chef there was a bit eccentric (to be kind) and had an unusual way of doing things. Actually he didn’t like to do anything, and left the work to his sous chef. As luck would have it one day neither of them showed up to work, and the restaurant manager asked me if I was up to the task, I told him I could handle it and just asked for a copy of the menu. Needless to say the staff was fairly surprised at the difference in how the food looked as well as tasted with the new line cook preparing the meals as he read the menu to see what went in each dish. Like I always say it’s not rocket science it’s just making food taste good.
One of the dishes on that menu had come from the owners Italian Grandmother who had come from Naples at the turn of the century and made this dish regularly for her family. I added the artichokes in my rendition to help balance the flavors of the rosemary and lemon, so feel free to leave them out of the recipe.
I had a great time that night as I worked through the restaurant’s menu for the fist time, making all the dishes that had been ordered, but the problem came the next day when the smug Executive Chef was informed of what I had done. I had disrupted the status quo and made both chefs look pretty bad in the process. They still had no idea I was a chef and I guess that made it all the worse. So I decided it was time to move on from my temporary job at that restaurant, and ended up helping with construction of the new restaurant I would be going to just to keep busy.
Chicken Scarpariello became one of my favorite dishes because of the different elements that made up that dish and over the years its made its way on to menus or at the very least been run as a special at the restaurants I’ve worked at. My updated version of this “shoemaker’s style” chicken dish, is sure to please your friends and family and I promise you won’t hear “Chicken Again?”
- 4 boneless chicken thighs
- ½ pound sweet Italian sausage (sliced on a diagonal)
- 2 medium potatoes – cut into medium cubes
- 6 ounces mushrooms – sliced
- 4 ounces artichoke hearts -sliced
- 2 stalks fresh rosemary
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp of granulated onion
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- juice from one lemon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place cut potatoes in baking dish and add one tablespoon of olive oil and a good sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. Mix well and place in oven for 20-25 minutes to roast. (they should get good color)
- Allow a large saute pan to get hot then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan.
- Dredge chicken thighs in flour seasoned with sea salt and black pepper, then place into saute pan, allow to sear to get good color on the thighs for 3-4 minutes
- Add sliced sausage to pan and allow to brown along with chicken thighs.
- Turn over chicken and sausage to allow other side to brown.
- Add mushrooms to pan and allow to saute, while cooking chicken and sausage 4-5 minutes
- Mix together making sure all ingredients are almost finished cooking
- Add chicken broth to pan reduce heat and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add roasted potatoes, artichokes, lemon juice and needles from one rosemary stalk. Season with granulated onion, sea salt and black pepper
- Coat butter with flour, pushing flour into butter and add to the pan, to help thicken the sauce.
- Garnish with remaining rosemary stalk, serve immediately and enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed another of my restaurant style meals that you can make in your own home at a fraction of the cost!