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Braised Chicken and Italian Sausage with Peppers and Mushrooms

Serves 4 to 6

This Italian-inspired chicken and sausage recipe is relatively quick, easy to prepare and delicious. When I think about it, the dish is a combination of the popular Italian sausage with peppers and chicken cacciatore, both of which are in the similar and related recipes links. That was not my intention when I first created this recipe, but all of the ingredients complement each other perfectly. I prefer to use chicken thighs for braising, but legs work equally well, and you can use bone-in breast pieces, being careful not to overcook them. Make this recipe in any amount needed.

Ingredients

Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and sausage pieces to the skillet, in batches if needed, and cook until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from pan. Drain excess grease from the pan before proceeding.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add the green and red peppers; sauté until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté one more minute. Add the tomato paste and stir well for about 1 minute. Then add the wine and reduce another minute, stirring well to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken and sausage with any accumulated juices to the pan. Add the mushrooms, fennel, thyme and additional salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until the chicken is done, about 45 minutes. Remove the lid and reduce the juices for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, using the juices to top rice, pasta, polenta or potatoes

Notes: If desired, the chicken skin can be removed before cooking.