Chicken Scarpariello is a dish beloved by many in the New York metro area. Our recipe combines crispy chicken and potatoes, sweet fennel sausage, red bell, and spicy cherry peppers, in a pungent vinegar-based, arguably drinkable, sauce that will appeal to your sweet, and sour taste buds. Be sure to serve with a loaf of Italian bread to soak up every last drop.
Pollo alla Scarpariello translates to Shoemaker Style Chicken in English. So what exactly does that mean?
After asking several restaurant staff in and around the Long Island and NYC area, the consensus is that it means "chicken with a buncha stuff".
This dish graces the menus of many (ALL) Italian family-style restaurants, at least the ones I've been to.
I've seen it made with mushrooms, green bell peppers, peppadew peppers, pearl onions, and even olives.
Some opt to use an entire chicken, broken up, or just breasts. Despite the variations, the chicken and vinegar seem to be the constants here.
I say this all to say, keep an open mind with this dish. If there is an ingredient that you'd like to toss in, go for it. This is a pretty safe dish with which to take liberties and I encourage it!
Oh, and feel free to just call it chicken scarp for short - everyone else does!
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Begin by slicing the bell peppers to around 1 inch thick.
- Pat dry the chicken thighs and season them with salt and pepper.
- Mince the parsley. Chop the cherry peppers into quarters and remove the seeds if you want. Peel 10 cloves of garlic and cut them in half.
- Toss the potatoes with a ¼ cup or more of olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and a half teaspoon of black pepper. Roast the potatoes cut side down on parchment paper (425f oven for about 30-40 minutes) until crispy.
- Pan sear the sausage links on medium heat until brown (about 10 minutes total) but don't cook them all the way through. Remove the links, when cool enough to handle, slice on a bias and set aside.
- Pat the chicken dry one more time and in the same pan, sear the chicken pieces skin side down until brown and crisp (about 10 minutes). If needed you can add some olive oil when searing but there might be enough drippings from the sausage.
- Once the skin on the chicken is crispy, remove, and set aside.
- To the same pan, add the garlic and saute until golden (about 3 minutes). Then add the cherry peppers and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Time for the sauce - add the white wine and turn heat to high. Cook for about 3 minutes to reduce the sauce and scrape the bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Then add the chicken stock and vinegar and allow to cook for another 10 minutes to further reduce the sauce. Note that you may want to open a window during this stage. The cooking vinegar can be pungent!
- Turn heat off and add the bell pepper strips and sausage slices giving them a gentle toss in the sauce. Then nestle the chicken into the pan with the skin side facing up.
- Pop into the oven and bake uncovered for 60 minutes at 350f. After 60 minutes, remove from the oven and add the potatoes. Return to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and add the parsley, giving it a gentle toss. Serve and Enjoy!
When to serve chicken scarpariello
This dish can feed a crowd and is a perfect dish to make ahead for any gathering you might be hosting.
It's great for holidays and Sunday dinners with family, but can certainly be enjoyed on a weeknight for no reason at all!
Since this dish is a complete meal in itself, you don't really need to make a side dish, however, I always like to add a side of greens just to balance it all out.
I can't think of a better crowd-pleasing drink to serve alongside these than our moscato sangria.
If you like chicken scarp...
...you will love these dishes too!
I'm a big fan of hot cherry peppers. Because of this, I use them quite a bit in my everyday cooking.
You'll find them in all these recipes:
- Pork Chops with vinegar peppers
- sheet pan roasted broccolini with sausage
- Orecchiette with sausage, broccoli rabe, and cherry peppers
- Italian hero
And if you want more bone-in chicken recipes check out our:
- Garlic butter roast chicken - Crispy and juicy plus easy to make whole chicken dish.
- Chicken cacciatore - Bone-in chicken braised in a delicious tomato sauce with oil-cured olives.
- Italian baked chicken and potatoes - Chicken and potatoes roasted to perfection.
- Chicken Vesuvio - A Chicago classic with seared chicken, potatoes, and peas in a lemon wine sauce.
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Watch the video below where Jim will show you how to make this recipe with easy-to-follow instructions.
- 3 pounds chicken thighs
- 1 ½ pounds Italian sausage
- 2 pounds potatoes chopped
- 2 large red bell peppers sliced
- 10 cloves garlic halved
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 ¼ cups chicken stock low sodium
- 4 large cherry peppers quartered and seeds removed
- ½ cup parsley minced
- ⅜ cup olive oil divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Toss the potatoes with a ¼ cup of olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon salt and a ½ teaspoon of pepper. Roast potatoes cut side down on parchment paper or oiled baking tray (do not crowd) for 30 minutes at 425f or until crisp.
- In a large oven-safe pan sear the sausage links over medium heat until brown but not cooked through all the way (about 10 minutes total). Remove sausage and set aside. When the links are cool slice them on a bias.
- Dry off the chicken pieces with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and a ½ teaspoon of black pepper. In the same pan, sear the chicken pieces skin side down until well brown and crisp (about 5-7 minutes). If required use a couple of teaspoons of olive oil for searing. Remove chicken and set aside.
- To the same pan add the garlic cloves and saute until golden, then add in the cherry peppers and cook for 2 minutes.
- Next, add in the white wine, turn heat to high, and cook for 3 minutes to reduce. With a wooden spoon scrape pan bottom to remove flavor bits.
- Next, add in the chicken stock and vinegar and cook for 10 minutes more to continue to reduce the sauce.
- Turn heat off and add the bell pepper strips and sausage pieces. Toss to coat. Nestle the chicken pieces into the pan with the skin side facing up. Bake uncovered for 60 minutes at 350f.
- After 60 minutes remove from oven and add in the potatoes. Return to oven and cook for 10 minutes more.
- Finally remove from oven and add in the parsley and toss. Enjoy!
- Chicken thighs are juicier and are far more forgiving to cook with. They are recommended for this dish.
- If the sauce is a little thin at the end, strain it and cook in a pan to further reduce and concentrate. This is not often required.
- Dry white wines like Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc both work well for the wine component of this recipe.