Friday, February 19, 2010

Chicken with Andouille Sausage and Peppers by Tom

It was my turn to cook again last Monday as Barbara was off painting for the afternoon with her friend Lin.  Since it was a cold wintery day, I was in the mood for a hearty dish.  I found a recipe in my favorite cookbook "Dinosaur Bar B Que: An American Roadhouse" that I had made way back in 2003, so I thought this might be something worth trying again.  I never make anything the same way twice, so I am sure this came out differently this time.  But final assessment:  very good!  Not too spicy and surprisingly sweet

The Ingredients

The key to this dish is the rub that goes on the chicken.  I will detail that a little later.  But here is what you need for the dish itself.

1 - 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
The rub (lots of spices detailed below)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper julienned
Some salt and pepper to taste
2 heaping teaspoons chopped garlic (about 4 cloves)
1 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup sweet barbeque sauce (I used Dinosaur BBQ Slathering Sauce)
1/4 cup spicy barbeque sauce (I used Dinosaur Barbeque Wango Tango Sauce)  optional
2 bay leaves
3 pickled pepperocini, cut into rounds
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 pound andouille sausage (I used a package of six)
2 tablespoons butter

The Rub - this is what gives this dish incredible flavor as the rub is an integral part of the recipe.
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sugar

Throw all of the Rub ingredients into a bowl and mix it up so that it is well blended.  Use a big enough bowl to hold all of the chicken. 

Cut up the chicken thighs into bite-size pieces, and throw them into the bowl containing the Rub. 

Thoroughly coat the chicken pieces and let them sit in the bowl while you prepare the vegetables.

Slice the andouille sausage into bite size pieces and set aside.

Add about half of the olive oil to a large frying pan (I used a wok which worked great!) and heat over medium high heat. Get it hot but not smoking.

Into the hot oil add the coated chicken thighs, and cook until slightly browned.  This will take about 5 minutes.  Make sure that you have all of the rub from the bowl into the frying pan as well when you are dumping out the chicken into the pan. 

After the chicken has browned, return it to the bowl that contained the rub and let it rest.  Now it is time to add the julienned bell peppers and chopped red onion into the pan.  If the pan is too dry, add a little more olive oil.  Cook all of the vegetables until they are soft.  This will take 4-7 minutes depending on how thinly you sliced the vegetables.  I made mine a little thicker to get their texture and taste. 

While the vegetables are cooking, go ahead and slice the pickled pepperocini into rings.  I scraped out most of the seeds.

Once the vegetables are almost done, add the garlic and cook for just a minute more. You don't wat the garlic to burn so keep stirring.

Now is the time to get your cooking mixture going.  Add the chicken broth to the softened vegetables and the barbeque sauces.  Toss in the bay leaves, pepperocini, thyme and red wine vinegar.  Stir the mixture up and then add the browned chicken pieces.  Make sure to scrape the bowl well to get any chicken juices and Rub into the pan.  Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
While the chicken mixture is simmering, saute the andouille sausage that you previously sliced.  Again throw some olive oil in the frying pan and get it hot.  Toss in the andouille sausage being careful to not get splattered by hot oil.  Brown, but don't burn the sausage pieces.  This will also rend some of the fat out of the sausage.

Once browned (I burned a few of them as you can see!), place them on a paper towel to absorb the excess grease.
After the 20 minute simmering time is up with the chicken mixture, add the browned andouille sausage.  Simmer for another 15 minutes or so.  Near the end of this time add the butter and let it melt into the mixture stirring slowly to incorporate the butter.  Test the mixture for taste, and add salt and pepper to your individual taste.

I served this dish over long grain wild rice.  Follow the instructions on the rice you choose for preparing.
Barbara and I thoroughly enjoyed my concoction for dinner, and ate it again for lunch the next day.  Just as good as a left-over as it was the night before.

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