A classic Italian-American recipe, Chicken Scarpariello is also known as “shoemaker’s chicken”. Braised chicken thighs in a sauce of sausage, peppers, and onions is sweet, tangy perfection. The cozy comfort food you’ll crave year round.
Long days at home have me cooking more leisurely, lingering dinners that need time to simmer low and slow. Things like Braised Short Ribs and Pot Roast that are like a warm blanket for your soul. Braised chicken is the underdog, the often overlooked meat for slow cooked dinners but this Chicken Scarpariello recipe is absolute perfection in ever sense of the word. Loaded with bright, vibrant Italian flavors, this is one classic dish you’ll make over and over again.
If you’ve ever had the chance to snag a reservation at Carbone’s or Rao’s in New York City, you may have had this braised chicken already in their dining room. It’s simply fabulous and without much fuss, really. It’s served up family style with big sides of meatballs and pasta for the most hearty dinner you’d expect at an Italian restaurant. Or nonna’s kitchen.
We make this Chicken Scarpariello for big family dinners but leftovers are fantastic for lunch the next day. Or you can freeze it for an easy dinner down the road. The one pot dinner of your dreams…..seriously.
What is Chicken Scarpariello
Chicken Scarpariello, also known as “shoemaker’s chicken”, is a braised chicken dish that has almost ever flavor imaginable. Tangy, sweet, spicy, rich, salty, crunchy and tender. The sauce has a vinegar-y bite that makes you want to keep going back for more.
The name Scarpariello means shoemaker, hence the name of this simple dish.
It’s made famous by popular New York City Italian restaurants like Carbone and Rao’s. If you can’t get to New York, or a reservation, this is the next best thing.
How To Make Chicken Scarpariello
This braised chicken recipe is super easy to prepare and combines a variety of flavors that makes is super flavorful.
- To start, sear the chicken thighs in a dutch oven until crispy and golden brown. We like to start skin side down to get the skin extra flavorful and caramelized. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
- Add the sausage and cook until browned. Transfer to a plate with the chicken.
- Pour off all but two tablespoons of fat. Next, add the onions and peppers to the pot cooking until softened. Stir in the garlic and herbs.
- Deglaze the pan with wine and scrape up the brown bits. Deglazing means to add a liquid to a searing hot pan to release all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, also called fond. Fond has a TON of flavor that will add some depth to the sauce you couldn’t otherwise get without deglazing your pan.
- Add the vinegar and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken, peppers, onions, potatoes, sausage, cherry peppers and cherry pepper juice. Pour the chicken stock into the pot and transfer to the oven.
- Cook until the chicken and potatoes are tender, approximately 35-40 minutes.
This recipe is a meal in itself but to round it out as the perfect family dinner….like big Italian style dinner….we love to serve this alongside a big pile of Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. The sauce marries well with the pasta when you top it with the chicken.
Tips for Making Chicken Scarpariello
- Mix up the flavor by using a combination of sweet and spicy italian sausage. We usually use all sweet unless we have guests, it gives everyone something to choose from.
- Want to make it even faster, use boneless chicken in place of the bone in thighs. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes instead of the full 40 minutes.
- To skip the wine, replace it with equal amount of chicken stock and deglaze the pan. For sweetness, you can add 1/4 cup of apple juice, if desired.
- Use whatever herbs you have on hand since this is supposed to be a meager dish. Skip the mint, though. 🙂
More Cozy Chicken Dinners
If you like this recipe, you may also love this Champagne and Garlic Braised Chicken. It’s my favorite thing ever.
For something a little more Italian, this easy Chicken Cacciatore is super simple to make and this Chicken Florentine is quick to get on the dinner table in a hurry. And this Chicken Scallopini is super fast…..just 30 minutes from start to finish!
Get the Recipe: Chicken Scarpariello Recipe
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 8 bone in skin on chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound sausage links, sweet or hot
- 2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 2 cups baby yukon gold potatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 8 pickled cherry peppers, sweet or hot
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
- dutch oven
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or deep skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, to the pot. Cook until crispy and golden, approximately 5-7 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for an addiional 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
- Add the sausage to the pan and cook until browned on all sides. (The sausage will not be cooked all the way through at this point.) Transfer to the same plate as the chicken.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat and return the pot to the heat. Add the onions and peppers, cooking until slightly softened and beginning to brown, approximately 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and Italian seasoning. Cook for an additional 1 minute.
- Add the wine to the pan and deglaze, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Cook until reduced by half.
- Return the chicken and sausage to the pot. Add the potatoes, cherry peppers, 1/4 cup of the cherry peppery juice from the jar and chicken stock.
- Transfer the pot to the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are cooked through.
- Serve the chicken, sausage and vegetables with the sauce. Garnish with chopped oregano and basil.