What do you do when a recipe just doesn’t work out the way you expected? I’ve been on a roll lately. Last week, soggy sweet potato fries. Last night, undercooked sausage. When will it end?
This weekend I made Nigella Lawson’s one-dish chicken, sausage, and sage bake from last month’s Food and Wine magazine. It was supposed to be so easy: marinate a cut-up chicken in olive oil, lemons, and sage overnight. I had ample time to set this up on Saturday afternoon, so no problem there. I felt so proud of myself to actually be thinking 24 hours ahead for once.
On Sunday I threw the chicken in a pan with some sausages, added some fresh sage, and baked it for an hour at 425 degrees. I even carefully turned the sausages over after half an hour, so that all sides would cook evenly and oh-so-beautifully. I was ready for a no-stress, hearty dinner that would last me at least 2 days this week.
Well, when I took the pan out of the oven, the liquid marinade increased to half the depth of the pan, as if the tide had suddenly risen. I don’t marinate that often, but I don’t remember such an event ever happening before. And the sausages were pink, inside and out. The rational part of my brain said this couldn’t possibly be true; the little suckers had been cooking for an hour! But my anxious mind wouldn’t let it go. Guess which side won?
I made Jim spit out his first bite of sausage and worried aloud that with that one bite of possibly undercooked meat, he might die. I put the rest of the sausages under the broiler for a while, but even this extra step couldn’t assuage my raw-meat fears. The chicken came out fine–nice and lemony. But I was too stressed out by the sausage to enjoy it.
I don’t think it’s the fault of the recipe, but I am guessing there’s something going on here that I just don’t understand. It sure wouldn’t be the first time. To add to my general lack of success, I can’t even find the recipe on the Food and Wine website. Wish me luck on the leftovers.