This Italian American Chicken Dinner Is a One-Pot Wonder|Recipes Spots

  • on October 10, 2023
This Italian American Chicken Dinner Is a One-Pot Wonder

Close-up: Pot of chicken scarpariello in a Dutch oven next to a blue kitchen towel, both on a wooden countertop
Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

In my house, a filling one-pot dinner is worth its weight in gold. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel—sometimes all you have to do is look back to the classics, like this chicken scarpariello. The combination of chicken, sausage, and flavorful veggies is ideal for a chilly night.

What Is Chicken Scarpariello?

Chicken scarpariello is an Italian American dish served in many restaurants on the East Coast. It’s a hearty braised combination of chicken and sausages with peppers, onions, and often potatoes, all cooked together in a slightly tangy, vinegar-spiked sauce. 

The method for preparing chicken scarpariello follows a similar method to a cacciatore or fricassee. I sear the chicken and sausages, transfer them to a dish, sauté the vegetables, add the cooking liquids, place the chicken and sausages back in the pot, nestle in some potatoes and pickled peppers, and cook until done. It’s a one-pot meal that’s hearty and comforting.

Chicken scarpariello in a red Dutch oven
Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

How To Add Zing to Chicken Scarpariello

Some versions of scarpariello lean more sour, while others are on the subtle side. My version is somewhere in between—lightly tangy and very savory.

As for the acid, I’ve seen people use red wine vinegar, red or white wine vinegar, lemon juice, or my favorite, a little bit of the brine from a jar of pickled peppers. You’re already adding the peppers to the dish, so it’s convenient to add a glug of the brine. If you want it tangier, you can add some vinegar, too. 

Make It Spicy or Mild

Scarpariello can be as spicy as you like—add jalapeños along with the bell peppers for more heat, or include a pinch of red pepper flakes along with the Italian herbs. Choose varieties of pickled peppers that are on the spicier side, like hot banana peppers, hot cherry peppers, or pepperoncini. Go for hot Italian sausages, too. 

I’m cooking for little ones who don’t like things too hot, so I go in the opposite direction, picking milder ingredients for a not-so-spicy scarpariello. I stick to sweet bell peppers, sweet or medium-heat pickled peppers, and sweet Italian sausage. My heat-loving husband can always add crushed red pepper flakes at the table. 

Serving of chicken scarpariello on a plate, and in the surroundings, more in a Dutch oven and blue kitchen towel, all on a wooden countertop
Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

The Best Way To Cook Chicken Scarpariello

I use a 4-quart braiser—its sides are high enough to hold all of the meat and vegetables comfortably, and the pot is wide enough to allow some of the cooking liquid to evaporate when simmering on the stove, creating the basis for a nice sauce. 

Any medium to large-sized braiser or Dutch oven (4 to 6 quarts) will work well. Just make sure it’s got enough surface area to fit all of the chicken thighs without them overlapping so everything can sear evenly.

It should be oven-safe because you finish cooking it in there to allow for a more gentle heat, so the vegetables and potatoes remain silky and whole without breaking down too much and the chicken becomes very tender. 

Alternatively, you can finish cooking on the stovetop over low heat for a half hour or so if you don’t feel like turning on the oven or are short on oven space. Either way, you’ll end up with a delicious and comforting dinner. 

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Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Season and sear the chicken and sausages: 

Season the chicken thighs all over with the salt and pepper. 

Heat the olive oil in a 4 to 6-quart braiser or Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken thighs skin side down. Allow them to sear until the chicken skin releases easily from the pan and has become crispy and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Using tongs, flip the chicken thighs and cook them for 3 more minutes. Transfer them to a plate. 

Add the sausages to the pot and sear them for about 1 minute, until they are nicely browned. Flip the sausages and sear for 1 more minute, then transfer to the plate with the chicken thighs.

Add the vegetables and cooking liquids and simmer: 

Add the onion, bell peppers, garlic, and rosemary to the pot and cook until the onions are beginning to soften and become translucent, about 5 minutes. 

Add the chicken broth, white wine, and pepper brine and stir, using a wooden spoon to nudge up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the liquid up to a simmer, then cook for about 5 minutes, allowing some of the liquid to evaporate.

Add the meat, potatoes, and pickled peppers; finish cooking in the oven: 

Add the chicken thighs skin side-up and sausages back to the pot, nestling them in amongst the vegetables. Nestle the pickled peppers and potatoes around the chicken thighs and sausages and spoon some of the cooking liquid over the potatoes. It’s okay if everything isn’t covered by liquid.

Cover the pot, then transfer it to the oven. Let cook for about 45 minutes, until the chicken and potatoes are tender and cooked through. Taste the sauce and season with more salt and black pepper if needed.

Plate and serve: 

Place a chicken thigh, sausage, and some vegetables onto each serving plate. Spoon over some of the cooking liquid. Serve with crusty bread or cooked pasta. 

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.

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