I’m on a budget. So I love that I can get a rotisserie chicken for $5 at Costco or Wegmans. But it is just that…a rotisserie chicken. Sure you can just shred the meat off and eat it (like a carnivorous bear, aka me in the car driving home from the market with the chicken that also unfortunately in the car). To spice things up and turn a regular chicken into something warm, savory, and filling consider making this glorious dish. If the already cooked rotisserie chicken isn’t convenient enough, this dish is a one pan wonder! You can make it in just one pan in less than an hour. Dinner = done. Plus I should mention it is super yummy. Just don’t burn the breadcrumbs like I did 🙂
Okay. Here goes the dreaded prep work. I hate the prep work. I just want to eat already. But it’s really not all that bad. First just slice up a whole onion. Small or large it doesn’t really matter here. Please don’t measure. The onion cooks down to nothing. Also I prefer the slices because it is a bit more rustic. Although you could chop it, but that is more work.
Next cube a whole small squash or half of a med/large squash. The squash is really crucial in this recipe. It adds a creamy texture and compliments the sausage so well.
Open a can of cannellini beans and drain (any white bean really would work). If you are out of any white beans whatsoever like I was you can use red kidney. Honestly, I think several varieties of beans would work. Black beans all you have? Go for it.
Peel 2 cloves of garlic. At this point you could mince it finely or just use a garlic press later on.
Lastly shred the chicken. I saved it for last since it gets your hands all chicken-ey. I used half of my rotisserie chicken. It was a small one and it came to just under 2 cups. I would aim for 2 cups but its not going to ruin the recipe if its 1.8934 cups 🙂
Melt 1 Tbs of butter in preferably a cast iron skillet (or any pan that can go in the oven under the broiler). Put in the onion slices. Cook until wilted and some color starts to develop. Mine took about 4 minutes on med/low (~250ºF).
Okay so this is a strange picture and my husband cringed while taking the shot. But these are the sausages I bought. And they were in this form. To get nice crumbly pieces this needed to be done. First move the onions in a pile in the back of the pan. Take a knife and slice down the sausage. Pull off the casing and dump into pan.
Now its time to add in the can of italian herb tomatoes (Don’t drain! You want all that glorious liquid). Put in the chicken broth or stock, squash, shredded chicken, beans, minced garlic. At this point you can add some salt and pepper to taste. I started with a 1/2 teaspoon but you can add more later.
You are probably thinking “wow that is a lot of liquid!” It is but it will go away. I promise. In the meantime the liquid will cook the squash. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat. So here is where things can differ from one person to another depending on the temperature of your pan. Simmer the pan covered for 25 minutes at med/low (~250ºF). Take bread out of your freezer and set on the counter (if you are using frozen bread).
***Set the timer for 20 minutes and enjoy a glass of wine!***
After 20 minutes the liquid may not be entirely gone so just uncover it, give it some stirs, and let simmer for another 10-15 minutes while you made the breadcrumbs. Turn on your broiler if it needs to heat up.
Slowly pour the butter over the breadcrumbs, whisking or stirring as you go. The goal is to get them as evenly coated as possible. At this step I added some Italian herbs and a dash of salt to the breadcrumbs for extra Italian flavor. It is not necessary but really tasty.
Put under oven broiler until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown and crisp. I left mine in for 4 minutes @ 500ºF and the breadcrumbs got a little too toasty. So I recommend about 3 minutes. Just keep an eye on it since this step may vary for everyone.