I love braised chicken. It is almost impossible to screw up. What tends to be dry and bland (the breasts) are infused with the flavors of the cooking liquid and what tends to be tough (the drumsticks) become meltingly tender. The key is to keep the heat low, you want to see just a few bubbles rising to the top at a time.
Be sure to cook the chicken until it is tender, which will take about 40 minutes, but if you have a little more time, keep cooking to really concentrate the flavors, up to 2 hours if you wish.
This dish is especially flavorful from the wine and spicy sausage. If you are sensitive to heat, feel free to use a sweet Italian sausage instead.
PASTA WITH BRAISED CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE RECIPE
- 1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces spicy Italian sausage each link cut in half
- 1 medium yellow onion medium dice
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
- 1 3/4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound small pasta such as shells, gnocchi, or orecchietti
- 1/4 cup torn basil leaves
- Season chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large (12-inch) frying pan. Once shimmering, add chicken skin side down and let cook undisturbed until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and brown other side. Remove to a plate and add sausage. Brown sauage and place on plate with chicken.
- Add onion and garlic to pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion starts to brown. Add wine and scrape any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Remove a tomato from the can and while holding it over the pan, break into small pieces with your fingers, add to pan and repeat with remaining tomatoes. Add any juice that remains in the can to the pan along with the chicken stock. Arrange chicken and sausage in pan so they are in a single layer, cover and let gently simmer until chicken and sausage are cooked through, about 40 minutes. Taste sauce and add more salt if necessary.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain and transfer pasta to serving bowls, top each bowl with a piece of chicken and half a sausage link along with some sauce. Sprinkle each bowl with basil leaves and serve.