chicken & sausage & lemons, oh my!

chicken and sausage bake

I’ll admit it right here, I like Nigella Lawson. I think she’s a great menu planner and hugely entertaining to read (I’ve never seen her on TV), and I own several of her books. Strangely, I sometimes find her recipes disappointing (such as a nearly flavorless chocolate cake), but I generally forgive her the details because I like her general concepts so much.

One recipe of hers that stuck in my mind when I saw it was a sort of mishmash of chicken pieces, sausages, lemon, onions and sage, squished together in a pan and baked. I don’t know why I found the idea so fascinating, but I’ve been just waiting for my chance to try it. So on Saturday I combined the chicken and marinade, and on Sunday J put it all in the oven while I was at work. We were a little short of vegetables in the house, so I cooked some frozen spinach to go alongside.

The verdict? I liked it. It’s not going to be my go-to comfort meal from now on, but it was fun and simple. If I make it again I’ll add loads more sage to it, and maybe use hot Italian sausages instead of sweet, and serve it with a big salad or lots of green beans or something to cut the richness. The chicken did have a really nice sharp lemony flavor and the skin was beautifully crisp, and the onions were lovely combined with bites of sausage. We had a lot of leftover Portuguese white wine with a definite barnyard edge to it, and it went really well with the chicken. So it was a successful dinner. And the leftovers were even better the next day.

Chicken and sausage bake

adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson

  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 4 sweet Italian sausages
  • 1 onion, cut into eighths
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • rind of squeezed lemon, cut into eighths
  • 1 Tbsp dried sage (I never use dried sage, so I left this out)
  • handful of fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • large glug of olive oil

The day before, combine the lemon, lemon juice, onion, mustard, dried sage (if using), and Worcestershire into a zip-top freezer bag and make sure it’s well mushed together. Add the chicken and squish it all around some more. Refrigerate.

A couple hours before dinner, get the bag of chicken out to come to room temperature. Dump the contents of the bag into a roasting pan and nestle the sausages down among the chicken pieces. Sprinkle the sage on top (although next time I would just mix the fresh sage in with the marinade and skip the final sprinkle). Bake at 425° for an hour and 15 minutes, turning the sausages halfway through. Take out when the chicken skin is crispy, the sausages are cooked through and the onions are good and soft.

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