Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Chicken Scarperiello

If you look up Chicken Scarperiello (chicken of the shoemaker) you will find as many recipe
Chicken Scarperiello
variations as you can find Italian American Nonnas. Some people make the sauce with lemon juice and I have seen the addition of tomatoes. However, every recipe has chicken, sausage, onions, hot peppers, and a sour/vinegary sauce.

This is my version. If you cannot find Peppadews, use pickled cherry peppers. You need the brine and the heat for this dish. You can also serve this over roasted potatoes or some sort of tube pasta like penne, ziti or rigatoni. If a pasta has ‘rigati’ in its name that means ridged. These are even better to use. If you don't use low sodium broth, the amount of reduction that takes place will make your dish too salty. Also, use a mild wine. Something with a bold flavor like a chardonnay will overpower the sauce.

Servings: 4
Time:  Prep: 15 minutes; Cook: 45; Dinner in and hour
Hardware:  measuring cups and spoons, a cutting board and knives, a large, heavy skillet that can be used on top of the stove and in the oven (I prefer a cast iron skillet), a wooden spoon, tongs, a plate, a thermometer


  • Olive oil for the skillet
  • 2 links mild Italian sausage (8 ounces)
  • 4 chicken thighs with skin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion ( 1 cup)
  • ½  red bell pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (low sodium)
  • ½ cup hot pickled Peppadew peppers (with brine)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 cups white rice for serving

  1.  Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. Slice the onion into rings and slice those in half. Cut the bell pepper into long, thin strips, removing the white inner ribs and seeds the onion, Dice the garlic. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken thighs. Measure everything else and set everything aside.
  2. Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet over medium-high. Cook the sausages, turning occasionally, just until they are browned on all sides. They will not be cooked through. Remove them and set them on the plate.
  3. Do not clean the skillet or wipe it out. Place the chicken, skin side down, into that same skillet. Cook the chicken until the skin is crispy then flip it. Cook it until it is brown on both sides. This will take about 4-5 minutes per side. The chicken will not be cooked through, either. Remove it and place it on the plate with the sausage.
  4. Once more, do not clean it, but add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the same skillet. Sauté the aromatics until they begin to brown, stirring often. Make sure to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the wine and bring to a low simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer until the wine no longer smells of alcohol (5 minutes.) Add the chicken broth, the hot peppers with their brine, the vinegar and the 2 sprigs of rosemary. Boil for  about 5 more minutes.
  5. Slice the sausage into bite sized pieces. Nestle the sausage and the chicken (skin side up) into the onion mixture. I try to submerge the sausage and keep the crispy skin above the liquid. Pour all the juices from the plate into the skillet. Place the skillet into the oven and roast until the chicken is cooked through. Check to make sure the juices that run from the largest thigh are clear and the thermometer reads 165˚F. This took 15 minutes for me, but it depends on how much you cooked the chicken in the original step.
  6. Taste and adjust the salt. Fish the rosemary from the liquid. Serve right away over rice.