Being Italian and a cook has its advantages, unless your loved ones expect a gourmet meal on the table every night– no matter how busy your day may have been. A favorite dish at our house is Chicken Marbella. It is one of the few dishes that pleases everyone. Made with Smith Meadows free-range chicken, marinated over night, slow roasted in the oven and served over steamed rice– even my picky 8-yr old will eat. With the tang of green olives, sweetness of prunes and umami of slow roasted chicken, there is not a part of the tongue or the tummy that is not satisfied. I make this on a Sunday when I have the day off from Farmers’ Market.

Thursday night after a busy day of making pot pies for Smith Meadows Kitchen is a very different story. Currently we have no chicken because it’s Winter and our customers bought all our chickens for the season. We do have delicious sausage. The recipe below was made with 3 left-over Hot Italian Sausages, some kale, a handful of carrots and apricots, and a small onion. It was quick and easy. From start to finish it took me 30 minutes, or roughly the same amount of time it takes to steam 2 cups of brown rice. Ingredients and directions follow the images.

2 cups brown rice

Use a rice cooker to make your rice or cook it boiled over the stove. I prefer the ease of the steamer and the ability to walk away to another project while the rice is cooking.

1 small onion

1 1/2 cups carrots

5-6 large leaves of Tuscan Kale (any kale will do)

1/2 cup dried apricots

3 (pre-cooked) Smith Meadows Hot Italian Sausages

Prepare all your vegetables and meat first. Slice onion into half moon slivers.  Cut the kale into thin ribbons and rinse. Slice the carrots very thin and rinse. Cut the sausage into thin medallions and the apricot into thin strips. Set everything aside, but close to your stove.

2 TBSPs coconut oil or your favorite oil for high heat

Heat the oil in a wok on medium high. Add the onions and sauté until wilted and golden. Add the Kale and Carrots. Stir and splash with:

1/3 cup Dry White Vermouth

Cover and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Add the apricots first and splash again with:

1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar

Add the sausage medallions. Cover again and simmer for another 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Turn the stove off and leave covered until the rice is fully cooked. Serve over top of steamed rice.

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