This recipe is a Food and Wine recipe, created by Nina Compton from 09-2015. I loved the feature photo, with chicken legs sitting on top of the fricasee, which was a beautiful mixture of sausage, corn, onions, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, and basil. This just screamed “light the grill and let’s get cooking!”
I didn’t light the grill to cook the chicken; it was 106 degrees outside on this day. But any way you cook this wonderfully brined and marinated chicken would work, and any cut like thighs would also work.
The fricasee is very good, although maybe an overkill with ingredients. On Milk Street radio once, I heard someone’s quote: “Sometimes cooking isn’t what you put into a recipe, sometimes it’s what you don’t. Or something like that. It might infer a more minimalistic approach to cooking, but with summer-ripe corn and tomatoes, I don’t think you can go wrong by letting them shine!
I also didn’t see the need to include Italian sausage in the fricasee, when the chicken is served alongside. Here’s the original recipe from Food & Wine.
Rosemary Chicken with Corn and Sausage Fricassee
1/2 cup kosher salt
12 chicken drumsticks
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
4 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed
3 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 ears)
2 cups cherry tomatoes (10 ounces), halved
1/4 pound sugar snap peas, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
In a large bowl, whisk the salt with 6 cups of cold water until dissolved. Add the chicken and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Wipe out the bowl.
In the same bowl, whisk the olive oil with the garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and crushed red pepper. Add the chicken and turn to coat, rubbing some of the marinade under the skin. Marinate the chicken at room temperature for 45 minutes.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the chicken over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each leg registers 165°, about 25 minutes.
In a large cast-iron skillet, cook the scallions over high heat until charred on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and cut into 1-inch lengths.
In the same skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until nearly cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the corn and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is crisp-tender and the tomatoes are softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the snap peas and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes longer. Stir in the basil and scallions and season with salt.
Transfer the fricassee to a platter, top with the chicken and serve.
I added more cayenne pepper flakes to the drumsticks, and the fricasee needed more salt.
Overall, this dish was very good, although some ingredients, I felt, were unnecessary. It’s definitely a good time to enjoy now, with the warm weather still, and the tomatoes, corn, and fresh herbs.