Chicken-Apple Sausage Hash-tastic

by Gwen on January 23, 2010 · 0 comments

Yeah yeah yeah, we’ve been gone for a while.  Judging by google analytics, you didn’t miss us that much anyway.

So to kick us off for the new year, let’s start with the most important meal of the day… or if you enjoy a good breakfast-for-dinner like I do, then just about anytime.   This, my friends, is a kickass hash.

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I feel bad for hashes.  They’ve got a pretty bum rap.  Probably because most of them are… pretty bad.  Gray, lumpy concoctions of some sort of over-salted canned meat mashed with yesterday’s homefries in a greasy spoon diner.  Hash has been around since the 1600s as a way of making unpalatable leftovers more palatable.  But when you start with delicious, fresh ingredients, a hash can be so much more.

Chicken-Apple Sausage Hash with Roasted Asparagus
Makes 4 Dinner Servings

For the Hash:

1.5 lbs red skinned potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
4 links of chicken-apple sausage, diced to the same size as the potatoes
1/2 a sweet onion, very finely diced
1/2 gala apple, very finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, 1/4 inch dice (optional)
2-3 stems of fresh thyme (about 1/2 tsp chopped thyme leaves)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Cayenne Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
4 eggs

First thing’s first, you gotta par-boil your potatoes.  I prefer the skins on the reds, but feel free to peel them.  Chop them up into uniform pieces like-a-dis:

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Boil your potatoes for 8 minutes in salted water.  You’re looking for an al-dente on the potatoes, so not quite all the way cooked through.  Otherwise the potatoes will be too soft when they hit the skillet to brown later.  Go ahead and drop the taters into a strainer and set aside.

While the potatoes are boiling, put the biggest skillet you’ve got over medium-high heat and add a little bit of oil to coat the pan.  Toss in your diced sausage to brown.  Remember, the sausage is already cooked, so you’re just trying to get some color on it.  Remove from the skillet and set aside, like-a-dat:

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Back to the skillet!  Drop the heat down to medium and toss in your chopped apple, onion, and red pepper if you’re feeling that.  Saute until they soften up and become translucent, then add the garlic and thyme and cook another minute.  Check it:

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Ok, time to get serious.  Add some more oil, or better yet, a couple tbsp of butter to your pan.  Dump the potatoes into your skillet and stir gently to mix evenly with the onions.   The potatoes will take about 10 minutes to brown, and you’ll need to flip them every couple of minutes to make sure they brown evenly, so keep your eye on the skillet.

Meanwhile, in another skillet, its time to fry your eggs.  (Now’s also a good time to stick the asparagus into the oven if you’re making that too, so everything finishes at the same time.  The recipe for this follows the hash.)  I like a combo of olive oil and butter, probably 1 tbsp each for 4 eggs.  Make sure you season your eggs early so the salt and pepper sticks before the eggs solidify.  Cook them to your liking, but in my opinion, hash works best with a nice runny, sunny side up egg.  That way the yolk makes a delicious lil sauce for your hash/asparagus.  Oh yeah.  It’s a great thing.  Back to the taters, precious.

So as the potatoes finish up their browning, I like to add a little broth when the pan becomes dry.  It helps bring everything together.  Some leftover gravy works really well here (think thanksgiving leftovers: replace the sausage with cooked turkey and the stock with the gravy and toss in a handful of cooked peas close to the end… serious yum.)   Take a taste and adjust your seasonings if necessary.  Then toss in your chopped parsley and stir gently to coat evenly.  See those eggies working in the background too?

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At this point, your hash is done, your eggs should be beautifully fried and you just pulled the asparagus out of the oven.  Way to go, you!  I serve the egg overtop of a nice pile of hash with the beauteous asparagus on the side.  You dig?:

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Here’s that yolky sauce I was talking about… yes ma’am.

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And let’s not forget about that asparagus…..

For the Roasted Asparagus:

1 large bunch of medium-thickness asparagus
1 – 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice OR 2 tbsp lemon vinaigrette

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Chop off the woody ends of the asparagus.  Arrange in a single layer on a baking tray.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly.   Place on a high rack in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes, flipping the asparagus once for even browning.  The asparagus is done when the stalks become slightly flimsy and have a hint of carmelization to them.  Remove from oven, and drizzle with fresh lemon juice or a delicious vinaigrette.  Serve hot or room temperature with just about anything!

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