Chicken Scarpariello with Cherry Peppers is a delicious and healthy, one-pot dish that is packed with vegetables. You will love this Paleo and Gluten-free, Italian-American Classic!
My husband bought a tower garden this spring, and we have been pulling all kinds of vegetables and herbs off that bad boy. I can’t keep up with it! At the moment, we have a crop of fresh cherry peppers and Ron asked me to make some Scarpariello with them.
I have only ever made Scarpariello with pickled cherry peppers so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I actually like it better this way. Even the kids loved it!
Chicken Scarpariello is rustic, country fare, or as my Italian father-in-law calls it, peasant food. Mmm… peasant food…
He is not far off. Scarpariello means shoemaker in Italian, the story goes that this dish got its name because even a shoemaker could afford it. Luckily for us, this Italian-American classic is not only affordable, it’s also delicious!
As I mention in my post for Cauliflower Crust Pizza,
I spent the second half of my childhood in the New Haven area of Connecticut, which at the turn of the last century had a large influx of immigrants from the Amalfi area of Italy.
New Haven style Scarpariello is made with chicken (or veal) cutlets, that are floured and sautéed. It also has Italian sausage, cherry peppers, sweet bell peppers, onions, garlic, and a tangy-spicy-savory sauce (I threw in some mushrooms and tomatoes to bump up the veggie count).
I wanted this Chicken Scarpariello to be grain-free, so I skipped the flour. Because I didn’t want the meat to get too dry, I made this dish with bone-in, chicken thighs with skin.
To keep the skin nice and crispy, I finished it off in the oven. There is nothing worse than limp soggy chicken skin!
This is delicious served as-is in a shallow bowl, but you can also serve it over zoodles, cauliflower rice, or even mashed potatoes. Of course, if you are not on a Paleo or gluten-free diet, you could always serve this over your favorite pasta (like orzo) or rice.
Chicken Scarpariello with Cherry Peppers reheats really well, so it is a great make-ahead option to have ready for busy weeknights.
Check out more of my Make-ahead Recipes!
For instructions with cooking process photos, scroll down past the recipe.
Instructions with cooking process photos:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the sausage links into 1” pieces.
Add 1 Tbs of olive oil to a dutch oven and brown the sausage pieces over medium heat, they do not need to be cooked all the way through.
Remove the browned sausage to a plate and reserve.
Meanwhile, wash and pat the chicken thighs dry. I had two small thighs and two large thighs so I cut the two larger thighs in half. I wanted the chicken pieces to be similar in size for even cooking.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
Add another Tbs of olive oil to the dutch oven. Brown the chicken on the fronts and backs, 3 minutes per side, beginning with the skin side first, they do not need to be cooked all the way through. Remove the browned chicken thighs to the sausage plate and reserve.
Drain off the grease, and then return 1 Tbs of drippings to the pan. Saute the mushrooms until they lose most of their moisture and begin to brown, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, seed and slice the peppers.
Halve the red onion, then slice it into semicircles, and then halve the slices, producing sliced onion quarters.
Add the sliced cherry peppers, bell pepper, and red onion to the pan and sauté until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
Add minced garlic and sauté until it becomes fragrant, about 1 & ½ minutes.
Add the chicken broth, white wine, balsamic vinegar, dried oregano, ½ tsp fine grain sea salt, ¼ tsp black ground pepper, and grape tomatoes. Stir well.
Nest the browned sausage pieces and the chicken thighs (skin-side-up) on top of the vegetables.
Turn off the burner and transfer the dutch oven to the middle rack of a 400 degree oven.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when the chicken flesh is pierced.
Garnish with chopped fresh basil and parsley.
I love adding a whole, unprocessed and healthy twist to classic recipes. My food is often grain-free, usually gluten-free, and always unprocessed.