Sunday Suppers: Chicken Scarpariello


I must have been a peasant in my former life.

Here is another Italian American dish that has no real roots in Italy, but can be found on the menus of most red sauce joints here in New Jersey.

It's sort of like chicken parmesan. Just good old fashioned peasant food created in someone's mother's kitchen in Brooklyn or Queens.

It translates to Chicken Shoemaker's Style. Not sure if that's a good thing or not, but around here, it's a great thing to eat!

Sometimes you see it on a menu as Chicken Murphy. It is a combination of chicken with sausage and hot cherry peppers and sometimes with potatoes.

It's one of my husband's favorites.

I have never followed a recipe for it, and you can certainly add your own twist to the dish.

Don't be jealous, but the lady who makes my homemade sausage, made this jar of vinegar peppers for me.
The peppers are still firm in the pickling liquid and I just add 1/4 cup of that vinegar juice to the chicken dish.

Here is the basic recipe for Chicken Scarpariello:

olive oil for frying the chicken
4 links Italian sausage cut into 1" pieces
2 ½ — 3 Lb. frying chicken cut into 8 pieces (or 8 chicken thighs, skin-on)
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup pickling liquid from the vinegar peppers
6 hot cherry peppers (from the jar)
2 Tbs. fresh oregano, finely chopped
4 Tbs. flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
salt & freshly ground black pepper
small potatoes (optional)

Season your chicken, skin on, with kosher salt and pepper and brown on both sides in a large hot skillet (the splatter screen really helps for this task).

Remove chicken to a plate, and add your onion, garlic and sausage pieces and brown about 3 minutes until pink is out of the sausage.

Add a few cherry peppers or red pepper strips along with the vinegar from the jar (you can add 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar if you are using red bell peppers) and cook for one minute.

Place chicken back into pan and add oregano and chicken stock and simmer this mixture for 30 minutes until chicken is cooked thru.

Transfer the chicken and sausage stew to a large serving platter or bowl, leaving the juices in the skillet.

Simmer the pan sauce until it is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Pour sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with fresh parsley.

I cook the potatoes separately in a 400F oven w/ kosher salt & olive oil, so they don't get greasy. Roast about 25 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice during roasting period.

Top with roasted potatoes.

This sounds a lot harder than it really is. It's a simple peasant stew and it's also great the next day.



Foodiewife said…
I've never heard of this, but it sounds like something we would love. Peasant food is sometimes the best dish. You are lucky to have someone who gives you homemade picked veggies. Wow, they look spectacular!
kat said…
I'm bookmarking this one. Sounds like something we'll love especially with our homemade sausage & the peppers we pickled this summer.
The JR said…
I can't help it, I'm jealeous! How nice of her to make those for you.

Another great food lesson. Thanks Stacey.

Stacey, this is so interesting. I've made this dish several times, but my recipe isn't like yours. Mine came from Pierre Franey's More Sixty Minute Gourmet cookbook and he uses chicken, oil, butter, garlic, lemon juice, white wine and chopped parsley and that's all. Yours sounds great and it's so colorful too. Love the homemade sausage & peppers - I'm jealous.
Michele said…
That's one dish I've never tried making at home. It looks great! Maybe I'll give it a try one of these days. My list of recipes to try is getting longer each day!
Jen_from_NJ said…
Hi Stacey,
This looks so good! I worked late and I am throwing together sausage and peppers. Wish I could reach through the screen and grab some of your chicken scarpariello!
another delicious meal!
Karen said…
This looks like something we'd love. One-skillet dinners are the best!
One pan wonder! Great for a Sunday dinner. Such a nice neighbor you have.
This is awesome. I love this post because I just did a similar post on Itaian-American restaurants and the classic dishes in them and made Chicken Francese. Yep, no real roots in Italy, but Italian all the same.