Apparently the “Grilling” issue of Fine Cooking magazine caught my eye once while standing in the checkout line at the supermarket and enticed me enough to buy it. There must have been something really delicious on the cover, but I couldn’t tell you what that was because the cover has since been chewed off by one black lab puppy named Lulu. Anyway, there are a couple of recipes in it that we make all the time. This is one. The other is Herbed Grilled Chicken Paillards (and we like that especially because we like saying “paillard” in an overly-exaggerated French accent, with a strong emphasis on the “D”).
One of the secrets to these yummy skewers is the garlic-rosemary infused olive oil that you marinate the chicken in. You’ll want to make the oil and start marinating at least a couple of hours, or even a whole day, ahead.
Tuscan Grilled Chicken, Sausage and Sage Skewers
3/4 cup cups extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 7 or 8)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. Rosemary-Garlic Oil (recipe follows)
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 lb. Italian sausage links, cut into 2-inch pieces
24 large fresh sage leaves
6-12″ metal skewers OR wooden skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak them in water for half hour before using).
Heat the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic starts to bubble steadily, 3 to 4 min. Add the rosemary, remove from the heat, and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a clean glass jar or other storage container, cover, and refrigerate. Use within five days.
Trim the chicken of excess fat and cut in half (the pieces should be roughly equal in size; if the thighs are large, cut them in thirds or quarters).
Up to a day ahead and at least a couple of hours before serving, toss the chicken in a medium bowl with 2 Tbs. of the oil, the rosemary, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper.
Heat a gas grill to medium or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup oil into two small bowls (one for grilling and one for serving).
Alternately thread three pieces of sausage, three pieces of chicken, and four sage leaves onto skewers.
Grill the skewers, covered, until one side is browned and has good grill marks, about 4 min. Brush with some of the rosemary-garlic oil, flip, and cook the other side until it, too, has good grill marks, about 4 min. Brush with more oil and flip again. Continue cooking, flipping, and brushing with oil until the sausage and chicken are both cooked through (check by slicing into a couple of the thicker pieces), about 10 min. more.
Let cool for a couple of minutes and then arrange on a platter, drizzling with the remaining oil.