Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Tag Archives: Sausage

Sausage & Chicken Bake

The other day I decided to switch up my Sausage and Potatoes dish with a new twist.  I had some boneless chicken breasts waiting to be used and thought about what I could make with them.

I threw them all together with the sausage, potatoes, onions, and then added some roasted red peppers to the mix.  The final result was something my family truly enjoyed and a definite keeper.

Here is how to make it.

SAUSAGE & CHICKEN BAKE:

  • 8 Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage
  • 3 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 5 – 6 Red Potatoes
  • 1 Large Sweet Onion, cut into large pieces
  • 1 – 12 oz. Jar Roasted Red Peppers, with the juice
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp. Dried Basil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

 You will want to start the recipe a few hours before you are ready to bake it.  Overnight would work too. 

Begin cutting up the chicken breasts into equal bite size pieces.  Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag.  Slice the roasted red peppers into strips and add this to the chicken.  To the chicken peppers, add olive oil, garlic, onion, basil and the roasted red peppers.  Allow to marinate for a minimum of 3 hours, or overnight.

When you are ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Leaving the skin on, cut each potato into equal size pieces and add to a large bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Cut each sausage link into 3 pieces and add it to the potatoes.  Dump in the entire contents of the chicken mixture to the potatoes and sausage and mix well. 

Add the entire mixture to a 13″ x 9″ baking dish and cover with foil.  Bake for one hour.  After an hour, turn the oven to 400 degrees and remove the foil.  Allow to continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sausage browns somewhat. 

Once done, remove from oven and enjoy.  

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Sausage and Potatoes

 

Growing up, my parents made this dish often.  As a kid, I never appreciated it.  In fact I would roll my eyes when I asked what was for dinner and the response was “Sausage and Potatoes”.  As an adult, I appreciate this dish for what it truly is; delicious. 

Now I make this and my children roll their eyes when I tell them what’s for dinner.  See, it’s not a cheeseburger and fries so they can’t appreciate it.  I tell them, “Hey, there are people starving all over the world.  We are in a recession.  You are lucky you got the sausage in this dish!”

Then I have to continue with the infamous, ” Back in Grandma and Grandpa’s day, they had to walk twenty miles through the snow just to buy one sausage link.  Then they brought it home and had to split it between eighteen other people, while they took off their shoes with the holes in the soles…”

By now I’ve lost them and they are no longer listening.   It’s fun to do this though.  Don’t you remember your parents telling you when you were kids,

“You kids today don’t know how lucky you have it!”

So true, Dad.  So very, very true.

My mother told me her mother made this when she was growing up as an easy way to stretch a meal.  Times were tough, meat was expensive and not easy to fit into your budget.  You had to make the most with what you had.  Who knew that so many years later many of those money-saving-meals mothers made to stretch their meat, and their dollar, would turn out to be completely delicious comfort foods.

It’s simple, it’s flavorful, and it’s an entire meal in one big dish. 

SAUSAGE AND POTATOES:

  • 8 – 10 Sweet (or Hot) Italian Sausage Links
  • 4 Large Russet Potatoes
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning Blend (Salt Free)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash potatoes and leave the skins on.  Cut into large, equal sized chunks, and place them in a large mixing bowl.  Slice the onion thickly, separate and place them in the bowl as well. 

Add all of your dry ingredients, along with the olive oil, and give it a good mixing to evenly distribute everything together.

Cut each sausage link into thirds and place in the bowl with the potatoes and onions.  From here, I mix this all together with my hands.  (Please make sure they are clean first, cause if they aren’t that would be really gross!)  Gently mix the sausage into the potatoe and onion mixture trying not to break apart the sausage as you do this.

Dump this all into a 13 x 9 baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. 

Place in the oven and allow this to cook for a minimum of one hour.  After an hour turn the oven up to 400 degrees, remove the foil and place back in the oven until the sausage is nicely brown, stirring every few minutes so all the sausage gets some equal browning space.   Make sure you watch this closely after returning to the oven so your potatoes and sausage don’t burn.

This is perfect:

I serve this with either a vegetable or tossed salad on the side.  It’s a complete meal in itself and super easy to make on a busy day.

The potatoes come out soft and they absorb all that delicious flavor from the sausage and the onions they simmered away with.  And the sausage.  Nice and browned and full of flavor.  Try this!

Calzone

Sorry for the crappy, blurry, close-up shot.  I was rushing to get this on the table and down the throats of my children and my husband for dinner tonight. 

Tonight was a super easy night of cooking for me.   I had purchased some bulk Italian Sausage I was planning to make sauce with, and decided instead to change things up.  Instead I decided on making a calzone.  I knew it would be fast, easy and something different for a change.   I should tell you right off the bat, the pizza dough was not made from scratch.  I have done it in the past and it’s been okay, but my own personal results with it have never been anything to sing about it.  Personally, I’m not really a dough-making-kind-of-gal.  I believe that to truly work dough well you have to possess a talent for it.  I don’t possess that talent.  My grandmother had that talent.  I know several friends that have that talent.  Me?  Not so much.  Not at all really.  So when dough is involved I tend to take the easiest path possible.  Either make it from scratch if it’s a dough recipe of some kind that is fool-proof.  Or buy it already made.  When I make my Chicken Pot Pie, I make it with pre-made pie dough.  And when I make my pizza, calzones or stromboli…you guessed it…I make it with pre-made dough.

This dough came from our favorite pizza place around the corner.  Their dough is fantastic and they will sell you a pound of it for $2.50.  Why mess around when I already have a great start?  That’s my thought, anyway.  If you are one of those wonderful dough working folks, go for it and use your own.  If not, don’t feel guilty buying a good dough.  The only pizza dough I won’t use is that stuff that comes out of a can.  Not that I’m too “above” using anything pre-made out of a can.  Not at all.  The reason I won’t use the canned pizza dough is because a great pizza dough is already accessible to me and to most other people.  Did you guys know that pizza places will actually sell you a pound of dough if you ask?  Try it sometime.  More often than not, they will!

CALZONE:

  • 1 Lb. Pizza Dough (either freshly made or pre-made)
  • 1 1/2 Lbs. Bulk (loose) Italian Sausage (Hot or Sweet)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning Blend
  • 1/2 Lb. Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 Egg
  • Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large pan, break up and brown the sausage.  While the sausage is browning, dice up the red bell pepper and the onion and set off to the side. 

When the sausage has browned, remove it to a plate with paper towels and drain off the excess fat.  Using the same pan you just browned off the sausage in, remove some of the excess fat, but leave about a teaspoon in the bottom.  Add the onions and red bell pepper and sauté until just tender.  Add the pepper and italian seasonings and remove from the heat. 

Stir together the sausage with the red pepper and onion mixture and set it to the side.

Lightly flour your working surface and begin rolling out your pizza dough.  You want it 15″ L x 12″ W. 

Once you rolled out your dough, dump in the sausage, pepper, onion mixture and spread it out, leaving about 1″ on either side and 2″-3″ on the top and bottom.  Then sprinkle the shredded mozzarella all over the top of the sausage mixture. 

Then pull the top flap of dough over the sausage mixture and join it at the bottom.   Pinch the ends of the dough together on all sides and fold them up and tuck them in nice and tight.

Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray and place your nicely folded calzone on top.  As you can see from my picture I had to place it diagonally across the sheet as it was too long to fit any other way.  Take your egg, crack it into a small bowl and whisk it up.  With a pastry brush, brush it all over the outside of the dough, making sure to get into each and every crevice you can find.  This will make the outside of the dough brown beautifully and give it a beautiful shine.  

Place this in the oven on the bottom rack and allow it to cook for a good 15 to 20 minutes, or until the outside is a beautiful golden brown.  Once you hit the 15 minute mark, you want to keep your eye on it.  It can go from beautifully brown, to horribly burnt very quickly at this point.  This particular calzone took just under 20 minutes to reach that perfect point.

 

Gorgeous!  Look at that crust.  I could just pull off all the ends and just eat them and nothing else. 

 

Once you remove it from the oven, place it on your cutting board and allow it to sit and just hang out for about 15 minutes.  You don’t want to cut into this puppy right away or you will end up with a gooey mess all over.  Once you have let it rest, just slice it as thin or thick as you want with a bread knife and stuff huge amounts of it in your throat.  Sometimes, I serve this with some Marinara Sauce on the side for dipping.  Sometimes, like tonight, I don’t. 

This is such an easy and versatile recipe.  I use this a lot if I’m cleaning out my fridge.  There are so many varieties of fillings you can use. 

  • Sliced steak, onions and provolone cheese
  • Diced ham, peppers, onions and cheese
  • Diced chicken, broccoli, and cheddar cheese
  • Browned ground meat, cheddar cheese and sautéed onions

Anything you have left over you can stuff into a pizza crust, sprinkle on some cheese, bake it off and have a great meal.

Normally a calzone contains ricotta cheese.  I’m not overly thrilled with ricotta cheese in my calzones, unless I’m making one with ham, ricotta, and mozzarella.  But the rest of the varieties I make don’t contain ricotta.  Of course, if you love it, throw some in.

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