Chicken Sausage Casserole (4)

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Sausages are great winter comfort food. Nothing better than ‘bangers’ ‘n mash with onion marmalade and a good gravy.  I like them in all their guises – the circular Cumberland sausage from the UK, chorizo, merguez, kielbasa, Italian sausage and the lighter and less fatty chicken sausage. Better still it is relatively easy to find them gluten free. This hearty casserole uses an Italian chicken sausage with fennel and kale from my local supermarket but probably any sausage could be substituted though I would try and find a type that had some extra flavor like herbs or spices. It is a filling dish as it includes cannellini beans, red lentils and kale – a winter winner!

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

2 rashers of bacon

1 pound of chicken sausage

2 sticks of celery – cut into 1 inch slices

2 carrots – cut into 1 inch slices

1 cup of chicken broth

1 can of cannellini beans

1/2 cup of uncooked red lentils

5 oz. baby kale

Heat the oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper in a Dutch oven and when sizzling add the onion. Let soften and brown slightly before adding the garlic. Cook for a couple more minutes.

While the onion is cooking, in a separate frying pan, cook the bacon until nice and crisp, remove from pan and when cool enough cut it into thinnish strips.

Then, sear the sausages on all sides (this will add more flavor to the dish). Then cut into bite size pieces.

Add the celery and carrots to the Dutch oven and cook for a couple of minutes till they slightly brown, then add the bacon, sausage pieces, broth, cannellini beans, lentils and kale.

Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding extra broth if you need it but the casserole is meant to be thick rather than soupy.

 

 

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Chicken Sausage with Peppers (4)

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Italian-Americans have a traditional dish made with Italian sausages and peppers. It is a hearty dish but it can be quite oily as the fat leaches out of the sausages. If you substitute chicken sausages and cook them on a rack above a roasting tin before adding them to the mixture of roasted red, orange and yellow peppers, onion and garlic you will have a much lighter but just as tasty a meal.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

1 pound of chicken sausages

1/2 a large onion – sliced and the slices separated into individual pieces of onion

6 garlic cloves – peeled and cut in half

3 peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange) – de-seeded and cut into slices

1 – 2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the sausages on a rack above a roasting tin.

Put the onion, garlic and peppers in a mixing bowl, pour over the oil, toss well and season with salt and pepper.

Tip mixture onto a roasting tray and cook both sausages and pepper mixture for 30 minutes.

Slice sausages and add to the peppers and onions and serve immediately.