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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Countdown to Dinner: Sausage adds zip to saute

Thursday, April 06, 2000

Tested by Rebecca Sodergren

Spicy hot sausage adds a little pizzazz to a chicken-based dish in today's Countdown to Dinner feature.

Kimberly Edixon invented this dish by "playing around" with the two meats -- both favorites with herself and her husband, Greg, whom she just married last May.

A secretary in Green Tree, Edixon lives with her husband in Baldwin, where they plan to grow a garden for the first time this year.

We took a few liberties in preparing Edixon's dish. She recommends cooking hot sausage in the oven and freezing it for future use in this recipe. Because we didn't have precooked sausage, we sliced the raw sausage and added it to the skillet with the chicken halfway through the chicken's cooking time. We also had to resort to using a salad tomato because plum tomatoes are in short supply at this time of year.

Saucy Chicken With Hot Sausage for Two

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened
Italian-style bread crumbs (optional)
3/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon lite Italian dressing, divided
2 cooked hot sausage links, sliced (see note)

Coat a non-stick frying pan with 1 tablespoon Italian dressing and heat for two minutes on medium-high heat. Coat chicken breasts with bread crumbs if desired, then place chicken in pan and cook for 7 minutes on each side. Flatten with a spatula while cooking.

In a separate skillet add 1/3 cup Italian dressing, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and sliced hot sausage. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Place chicken on platter and pour sauce on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired. Serves 2.

Note: Edixon says it takes about 35 minutes for hot sausage to cook in the oven, so she buys a package of hot sausage and cooks it all at once, then freezes it for future use.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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