Chicken and Sausage Scarpiello Arrabbiata

On Saturday, this beautiful tri-fold box arrived containing two jars of Bertolli’s newest pasta sauce, Four Cheese Rosa and Arrabbiata. Some time ago, Food Buzz offered an opportunity to test Bertolli sauces, through the Taste Maker program. Well, I had forgotten all about it... Now you know how excitable I am, so you can imagine my reaction. Hubby stood there smiling as I was reading aloud the included recipes, and checking the pantry. He and Red are so supportive. They know I really enjoy being part of Food Buzz and the taste maker program. I wonder sometimes if they think, Oh here we go, we're the guinea pigs again this weekend. Enough babbling, back to the food.
I decided the first jar used would be the red Arrabbiata sauce. Do you believe that I have never cooked with fresh fennel? The Chicken and Sausage Scarpiello Arrabbiata recipe, supplied by Bertolli, called for a fennel bulb, that decision was easy. (Notations in italic are my spin on the original recipe)

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces (chicken breast)
1 Lb hot or sweet Italian sausage, cut in 1" pieces ( sweet Italian sausage with cheese and parsley)
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, thinly slice (Hhmmm what is small? Checked out foodie blogs, determined fennel was large so I used half.)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 jar (7 oz) roasted red peppers; drained and thinly sliced ( fresh red bell pepper, roasted in the oven prior)
12 fresh mushrooms, sliced (my addition)
1 jar Bertolli Arrabbiata Sauce
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley (1 Tbsp. dried)
1 lb all-purpose potatoes, peeled, cooked and cut into wedges, about 2 potatoes (4 small potatoes; cooked in the microwave, cooled, peeled, then cut.)

Method:

Heat oil and brown chicken and sausage in 12" deep non-stick skillet or 5-quart sauce pot over medium high heat; remove. In the same skillet cook onion and fennel over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes or until tender and starting to brown. (I added the mushrooms and red peppers just a few minutes after the onion/fennel.) Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in the vinegar and jar of roasted red peppers and cook 1 minute. Stir in the Bertolli Arrabbiata Sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add back chicken and sausage. Simmer covered 30 minutes. Stir in potatoes and parsley and cook 5 minutes.

Thoughts:

A superb one dish meal for sure! I served this in pasta bowls accompanied by grated Romano cheese, some nice Italian bread, and crushed red pepper. The potatoes were still a bit firm in the center when I removed from micro. I did not want mashed potatoes. This method worked out well. The sauce cooked into the potatoes perfectly without them being too soft. My other concern was the dish was not going to be spicy enough, as in heat spicy, using the sweet sausage. The sauce was very flavorful and yes, it was spiced beautifully. The fennel was very subtle. Red didn't care for it at all; then again he dislikes licorice so that makes sense. As for heat, my concern was warranted; hot Italian sausage was the better choice. Not to worry, a shake of red pepper was plenty for me. Now Red, my youngest son, prefers a heat level that makes him sweat a bit; he definitely would have preferred the hot sausage. Hubby liked it as was, minus those potatoes. He loves potatoes, and bread... Oh but he is on a roll, lost forty pounds and still going; the carbs are a no go for him, poor dear.



So there it is friends, my version of Bertolli Chicken and Sausage Scarpiello Arrabbiata. Great sauce, great meal; thank you Bertolli and Food Buzz. Next test, Four Cheese Rosa Sauce.

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