While everyone's getting ready for the big day, making all the usual stuff, I tend to be thinking about what I can cook for the day before and the day after, especially things that don't't involve cranberries or stuffing. This is this year's effort. If you have questions, I'll do my best to answer.
Tuscan Chicken and Sausage Stew.
Feeds 4-8, takes a couple of hours, including cooking time. Great with garlic bread, side salad, etc.
1 cup diced shallots
4 cloves garlic
1 15-oz can cannellini or Great Northern white beans
1 whole chicken, cut up, or 8 chicken thighs, skin removed if desired
1/2 - 1 pound italian sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
1-1 1/2 cups dried small pasta, aciuge di pepe or orzo or similar
3 TBS olive oil
Pinch red pepper flakes to taste (Aleppo pepper works well, too)
1 tsp dried italian seasoning, or Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset
3 TBS tomato paste (about 1/2 little can)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes, or 1/2 large can of peeled tomatoes in sauce, chopped
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 small head bok choy, or small head escarole, or 4 cups baby spinach, trimmed and chopped into bite-size pieces, optional.
1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese.
Preheat oven to 300〫
Season chicken with salt and pepper, then brown in a large pan or dutch oven with olive oil, in batches if necessary. Remove to a platter, cover. Brown sausage in same pan, breaking up as little as possible. Add to chicken platter.
Reduce heat to medium, add shallots, garlic, red pepper and herbs; cook, stirring until shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until brick red, about 1-2 minutes. Add wine and deglaze pan, then cook until reduced to syrupy texture.
Add beans, tomatoes and chicken broth, bring to boil. Return chicken and sausage to pan, with all accumulated juices. Put pan in oven, cook 45 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked. (Or cook on stovetop 20-30 minutes.) You may need to skim fat from the pan at this point.
Add pasta, and cook on stovetop until pasta is done, adding broth or water as necessary. Add greens if using, and heat through, about 4-5 minutes. Ladle into bowls, and top with cheese.