Monday, January 19, 2009

Chicken & Sausage Hash on Crispy Polenta with Frizzled Sage

2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1 lemon, ½ sliced, ½ squeezed
½ tsp olive oil
½ lb bacon, sliced
3 spicy Italian sausages (salsiccia or similar, can substitute with brats)
1 ½ cup onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
10 small new potatoes, unpeeled, cubed
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp fresh sage, chopped
¼-1/3 cup flour
¼ cup cognac
4 cups (or 2 cans) of chicken broth
1 cube of frozen pesto or 2 tsp dried basil

Preheat oven to 400.

Place chicken bone down on a baking sheet and gently separate chicken skin from the underlying meat to make a pocket. Place lemon slices under skin. Season chicken with salt & pepper and drizzle slightly with oil. Bake until chicken tests 170 degrees, approximately 40 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and tent chicken with foil for 10 minutes. Let cool, then pull meat from the bones and shred into bowl. Save the skin and bones to freeze for stock. Discard the lemon.

In large dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium heat then add the bacon. Cook until browned. Remove bacon from oven with a slotted spoon and lay on paper towels to drain. Add sausages to oven and cook until browned, then remove to paper towels. Add onions, red pepper, potatoes, salt and pepper to pot and cook until vegetables are slightly softened and browned, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and chopped sage and cook for 1 minute.

Add between ¼ and 1/3 cup of flour, depending on the amount of grease in your pan. You want enough flour to evenly coat all the vegetables and soak up all the grease, but not so much that it cakes up. Stirring constantly, continue cooking the flour until it becomes darker, but not burnt, and releases a nutty scent, about 5 minutes.

Add cognac and stir, scraping up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and stir until smooth, adding more stock if sauce is too thick. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. While sauce is cooking, cut sausage into 1 “ chunks and add to pot. Add drained bacon, shredded chicken, and pesto. Stir to combine. Cook uncovered 7-10 minutes, until sauce is thick and creamy.

Crispy Polenta
Heat FryDaddy (makes this a snap). Slice pre-made polenta into ½” rounds. Blot with paper towels to remove any extra moisture. Gently place in heated oil, frying until golden brown, turning once to ensure even frying. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Frizzled Sage
Wash 10-12 whole sage leaves. Blot on paper towels to dry completely. Place the individual leaves in hot oil for 10 seconds. Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels.

Serve hash on polenta topped with frizzled sage.

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