Would you like to grapple with Apple Cider Braised Sausage?

Posted on March 23, 2011


Apple Cider Vinegar. Chicken Broth. Milk. Vinegar, Broth, Milk… VBM… Cabinet, Fridge Door, Top Shelf… Vineger, Broth, Milk — and tortillas!

I could have just written it down, but I just wanted to be on my to the grocery store to get the few ingredients I had deemed necessary for the brief trip I was planning this evening before dinner. I actually came home with apple cider vinegar, chicken broth, tortillas, tomato paste, and fish. No milk! Sometimes, I have great faith in my memory, and other times…

What role does memory play in the kitchen? Cognitive psychology divides memory into a three-part system involving  (1) sensory memory (or initial perception), (2) short-term memory (further delineated in a model of working memory), and (3) long-term memory. Working memory describes the system that both stores and processes relevant information in the short-term, thus helping me to remember lists such as items needed at the grocery (often with the aid of mnemonic devices like acronyms or the method of loci – assigning each item a location in an illustrative picture memory). Long term memory involves the development of a network of schemas, or mental models against which all new information is judged, through a process of information rehearsal and association. Because of long term memory, I am able to remember how my dinner compares to someone else’s.

In many ways, memory is extremely important to learning, an aspect I intend to explore more as I continue to expand my kitchen knowledge and experience.

Now, if only I had rehearsed my Intro to Congitive Psychology notecards a little more, I would have remembered to make better use of my mnemonic devices before jumping in the car to go the grocery this evening! At least I didn’t need milk for this evening’s dinner…

Apple Cider Braised Sausage
with Chicken Thighs and Olives

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb chicken sausages
1 lb chicken thighs
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 large onion, sliced lengthwise
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 sprig fresh rosemary
½ cup stuffed green manzanilla olives

Heat olive oil over medium heat in large, heavy bottomed pan. Add chicken sausages to pan, and brown on all sides. Remove  to a plate. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and add to drippings in pan, adding additional olive oil if necessary. Brown on all sides, then remove to a separate plate.

Deglaze pan with apple cider vinegar, scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add onions and garlic to pan, and sauté until translucent. Add red peppers, and sauté until softened and fragrant.

Add chicken broth and rosemary spring to vegetables in pan. Bring liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Add sausages and chicken back to pan. Cover, cook on medium-low, about 25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Transfer chicken and sausage to deep serving dish. Remove rosemary sprig. Raise heat to medium-high, and add olives to pan. Keep in mind the olives will add saltiness to the broth. Cook until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken and sausage, and serve.