Like a squirrel gathering nuts and storing them in a hollow tree against future need, I scan recipes and gather tidbits of knowledge that I incorporate into future dishes.
I haven’t been posting many new recipes lately. For the past couple of months, the Big Guy and I have been on a Weight Watchers adventure. He’s been the dogged scanner and points counter. I’ve been the backup crew keeping a careful eye on shopping lists and scaling down old recipes to make them points friendly.
Happy to report that all of this effort is producing results. Frank has just about reached his goal, where he hopes to stay. I’m very content with a loss that I’ve managed to achieve by going along for the ride.
The following recipe, loosely based on Lidia Bastianich’s Chicken Scarpariello (with ideas gathered from Jackie Ourman’s recipe posted on Skinnytaste and a simple Italian sausage and potatoes dish that Frank is (or was!) fond of making), is a good example of how to shave points off of a dish. One turkey sausage as a replacement for pork sausages, cauliflower florets instead of potatoes, and chicken broth in place of much of the olive oil.
Points Friendly “Chicken Scarpariello”
Serves 4 (5 WW points per serving)
4 chicken thighs on the bone, all skin and fat removed or boneless chicken thighs, all fat removed, cut into bite-sized pieces.
1 TBS olive oil
1 sweet (or hot) Italian turkey (or chicken) sausage
1 small head (or 1/2 of a large head) of cauliflower, broken into florets
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced vinegar peppers
1 cup (no fat, reduced sodium) chicken stock
1/4 tsp. dried oregano or about a teaspoon of fresh, finely chopped rosemary
kosher salt/freshly ground pepper/red pepper flakes (optional)
splash of balsamic or red (or white) wine vinegar.
1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in an oven friendly sauté pan. Brown the chicken pieces in the oil. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
2. Remove all but about a teaspoon of oil from the pan. Remove the turkey sausage from the casing (or cut into thin slices) and sauté until just about done. If you’re using sweet sausage, add a shake of red pepper flakes.
3. Add the cauliflower florets, onion and garlic to the pan. Season with salt. Saute until vegetables combine and start to soften. Add a little chicken broth and lower the heat if things start to burn.
4. Add the cup of chicken broth and the vinegar peppers. Scrape the bottom of the pan and bring the mixture to a boil.
5. Return the chicken pieces to the pan. Sprinkle with either oregano or chopped rosemary. Stir well and bring back up to a boil.
6. Put in a pre-heated 375 oven for about 20-25 minutes.
7. Use potholders to remove the hot pan from the oven. If you have a lot of liquid remaining in the pan, remove the chicken and vegetables. Boil the liquid to reduce the sauce and deepen the flavor. Carefully taste for seasoning. Add a splash of vinegar to brighten things up a bit before returning the chicken and vegetables to the pan.
8. Re-heat and serve over rice.