Friday, May 8, 2009

Chicken Apple Sausage Skillet

I have been trying to make a breakfast recipe that my girls will eat using Al Fresco Chicken Apple Sausage. It just seems like it would be perfect in a breakfast casserole type dish. Alas, no luck so far. I have had a few that are close, but the girls won't eat them. Finally it hit me- the tastes are too similar. They blend too well, not allowing each flavor to combine in a flavorful harmony but instead forming a monotone meal. Nothing to tantalize the taste buds.

Last week I just knew what to do. My inner Emeril was talking. Too bad I didn't write it down then, when it was fresh in my mind. My girls ate every bite. I enjoyed it. And in the morning it was gone. No note, no goodbye kiss, no picture to remember our happy times.

Here is my attempt at recapturing that brief inspired moment of culinary creativity. It's not the original, but it's still worth trying.

Chicken Apple Sausage Skillet

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 sweet red pepper
1/2 medium onion
1 pkg Al Fresco Chicken Apple Sausage (I find them at Giant Eagle.)*
2 c chicken broth
6-8 oz pasta of choice (we use Tinkyada)
1 cup frozen corn
1 Tbsp brown rice flour
dash garlic powder

Chop onion and red pepper into bite sized pieces. You decide what bite sized it at your house. Heat olive oil in large skillet, add red pepper and onion and cook until onion is soft and just starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice sausage into coins, or an angled cut for larger coins. Add to skillet and brown. Remove pepper, onion and sausage from pan for now. Toss in frozen corn and 'roast' for 5-8 minutes. (You can add about 1/2 tsp of cilantro here for color and a subtle flavor.) Remove corn and add to sausage mixture. Add chicken broth to still warm pan and stir to deglaze pan. Bring to boil. Add pasta. Cover and cook to desired doneness. Add more broth if needed (about 1/4 cup) to make a touch of sauce. Sprinkle flour over pasta and stir, cook about 3 minutes to thicken. Sprinkle with garlic powder if desired. Add sausage and pepper mix back to panto warm through. Taste and spice if needed. (Nothing more added here.) Simple and yummy.

* Cook's notes:
Not all chicken apple sausages are the same. Some are sweet, some savory, the spices vary greatly from brand to brand. We like Al Fresco because it is a very sweet and mild sausage. A different sausage will significantly change this dish, but won't necessarily make it better or worse. Just different.

I did not measure a single ingredient. All of the above are guesstimates, as is usual with my cooking. I like to wing it. I'm sorry if it makes you crazy.

And while this sounds too simple to be tasty, it really is. The flavors compliment each other very well. Even my husband, the one with the distinguished (read: snobby) palatte, complimented this dish.

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