Chicken and sausage need not be heavy

Stephanie Witt Sedgwick / Special to The Washington Post /


Published Mar 26, 2013 at 05:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

Even done well, a rendition of chicken and sausage can be heavy.

For this recipe, the sausage takes on a reduced role, flavoring but not weighing down the dish.

The result? A richly favored sauce to marry with the tender chicken.

Use your favorite mild peppers. Bell peppers work fine, but there are many other mild peppers showing up in markets that work well.

This dish can be prepared a day in advance.

Braised Chicken Thighs With Peppers and Sausage

Makes 4 servings.

1 TBS olive oil

8 small skinless bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (13⁄4 lbs total)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

One 4-oz link sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

8 oz mild peppers, such as Italian long, Ancient Sweets or bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into strips 1⁄4-inch wide and 3 to 4 inches long

One 5-oz onion, thinly sliced

2 TBS flour

1 TBS double-concentrated tomato paste (may substitute 2 TBS regular tomato paste)

1⁄2 C dry white wine

11⁄2 C homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth

2 tsp dried Italian herbs, oregano, cracked rosemary, basil, and/or thyme

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Heat oil in a large, shallow, nonstick, ovenproof braising pan or saute pan over medium-high heat. Season the thighs with salt and pepper; add half to the hot pan. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned. Transfer to a sheet of aluminum foil. Repeat with the rest.

Reduce heat to medium; add sausage by the pinch. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring and breaking up clumps.

Add the sliced peppers and onion. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and just starting to brown. Add the flour and stir to coat, then add the tomato paste; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and cook 1 minute. Add the broth and dried herbs; season with salt and pepper, then stir until well incorporated.

Slip the browned thighs into the sauce. Increase heat to medium-high. Once at a boil, cover and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 40 minutes.

Uncover, season the sauce to taste and serve hot.