Braised Chicken and Sausage Pasta

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This is one of those meals. It’s one of those uncomplicated meals where time magically coaxes rich flavours from simple ingredients.

No step is difficult, but patience with each one is the difference between dinner and comfort food. I love that this meal easily lends to family style serving…and it certainly makes enough to feed a family!

We served this with fresh whole wheat pasta; use your favourite or whatever you have on hand. The sauce that is produced is NOT a thick, tomato-y- marinara sauce. It’s loose and lovely with the focus on the tender meat and sweet peppers and onions.

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Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2-3 Italian sausages, removed from casings
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (original recipe calls for bone in, skin on)
2 large onions, diced
1 whole head garlic, peeled
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes
1 cup red wine
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano
Chili flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 1.5 pounds of pasta

Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven, heat the butter and oil together over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken thighs, careful not to crowd the pan; we did this in 2 batches. Don’t rush this step. Wait for the meat to pull away from the bottom of the pot…if the meat is stubborn to move, then it’s not ready. Set aside.
  2. Remove the casings from the sausages and break into the pot, but not too small. Brown the sausage meat for a few minutes. Set aside with the chicken
  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion to the pot and scrape up the brown bits. Cook the onions until they begin to caramelize. This took about 10-15 minutes.  Add the whole garlic cloves (which become little treasures in the final product).
  4. When the onions are a lovely golden brown colour return the meat to the pot and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a soft simmer and reduce the heat to low to medium low. You don’t want the sauce to be simmering too rapidly or you’ll end up with tough meat. Slow is key here. After about 45 minutes, your sauce should be all ready. You can leave the chicken in whole pieces, or break it up as you wish.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare a large pot of well salted boiling water. Cook pasta until al dente. Place pasta in a large dish and ladle sauce on top, tossing to mix.

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Source: Barely adapted from, Michael Smith

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