serves: 6 servings
Poussins-young chickens that weigh about 1 pound each-are great for this dish. Figure on one per person and cut them into pieces at the joints; there's no need to cut them into smaller pieces across the bone. As good as they are, I made this dish using supermarket-bought fryer chickens, because I want to be sure you try this delicious recipe.
The secret to golden brown chicken pieces is to leave them be as they cook. They will brown better if you're not constantly turning them or checking on their progress.
2 small fryer chickens, (about 2 1/2 pounds each)
freshly ground pepper
¼ cup olive oil, or as needed
½ pound sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
10 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
4 pickled cherry peppers, cut in half and stemmed
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock, or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup Italian parsley, freshly chopped
Cut each chicken into 12 pieces. Wash and pat the chicken pieces dry, then season them generously with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add as many pieces of chicken, skin side down and starting with the leg, thigh and wing pieces, to the skillet as fit without touching. Cook the chicken, turning as necessary, until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces as they brown and drain them briefly on paper towels. Place the drained chicken pieces in a roasting pan large enough to hold all of them in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil to the pan as necessary and adjusting the heat to prevent the bits that stick to the pan from overbrowning. As room becomes available in the skillet after all the chicken has been added, tuck in pieces of sausage and cook, turning until browned on all sides.
Remove all chicken and sausage from the pan, add the garlic and cook until golden, being careful not to burn it. Scatter the cherry peppers into the skillet, season with salt and pepper and stir for a minute. Pour in the vinegar and bring to boil, scraping the browned bits that stick to the skillet into the liquid and cook until the vinegar is reduced by half. Add the white wine, bring to a boil and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the roasting pan and stir to coat. Place the chicken in the oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and sticky, like molasses, about 10 minutes. If the sauce is still too thin, place the roasting pan directly over medium-high heat on the stovetop and cook, stirring, until it is reduced, about a minute or two. Once the sauce is thickened, toss in parsley and serve.