Rosemary Chicken with Corn and Sausage Fricassee


For juicy, flavorful chicken, New Orleans chef Nina Compton soaks her drumsticks in a simple brine for 45 minutes before she grills them. This is her summer version of the dish, which changes throughout the year: She uses butternut squash and mushrooms in the fall and fresh fava beans, English peas and fiddlehead ferns in the spring. Slideshow:  More Chicken Recipes 

Rosemary Chicken with Corn and Sausage Fricassee
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs



  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

  • 12 chicken drumsticks

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper


  • 6 scallions

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise

  • 4 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed

  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 ears)

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (10 ounces), halved

  • 1/4 pound sugar snap peas, halved lengthwise 

  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves

  • Salt


Make the chicken

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the salt with 6 cups of cold water until dissolved. Add the chicken and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Wipe out the bowl.

  2. In the same bowl, whisk the olive oil with the garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and crushed red pepper. Add the chicken and turn to coat, rubbing some of the marinade under the skin. Marinate the chicken at room temperature for 45 minutes.

  3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the chicken over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each leg registers 165°, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the fricassee

  1. In a large cast-iron skillet, cook the scallions over high heat until charred on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and cut into 1-inch lengths. In the same skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until nearly cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the corn and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is crisp-tender and the tomatoes are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the snap peas and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes longer. Stir in the basil and scallions and season with salt. Transfer the fricassee to a platter, top with the chicken and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Thanks to all the sunshine, California Chardonnay tends to have bright, ripe fruit flavors. These wines are fantastic with peak-of-summer dishes like this chicken.

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