Welp, the calendar has turned to September, which means I have two things on my mind…
…quick, no-nonsense back-to-school dinners, and apples. Lucky for all of us, this week’s entry in the Five-Ingredient Dinner series checks both boxes. In addition to the meal’s short ingredient list, just look at the recipe — it needs only one pan, and the instructions are so easy it could probably fit in a text. As for the apples! Because this is a five-ingredient challenge, I often look for store-bought products that work overtime in the flavor department — which is why you should seek out chicken-apple sausages here. The sweetness of the apple with the cabbage is exactly what I crave this time of year. If you can’t find apples in your sausage, you should of course feel free to use regular sausages (pork, chicken, plant-forward), and just throw in a handful of sliced, peeled Honeycrisp or Galas alongside the cabbage. I won’t tell the Five-Ingredient Police.
Chicken-Apple Sausage with Cabbage and Onions
Do your best to pick up uncooked chicken-apple sausages from the butcher. If you have to use the smoked pre-cooked kind (like Applegate or Aidell’s) then no need to simmer the sausages for those last 10 minutes. Serves 4
3 tablespoons olive oil*
5-8 links chicken-apple sausage (or 1 1/4 to 3 pounds, depending on your diners’ appetites; we cook about 1 1/2 links, or 6 ounces per diner in our house)
2 large onions, sliced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper*
1 1/4 pounds cabbage, preferably savoy or Napa, sliced (not shredded, they shrink when cooked, and you want them to have some body)
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, plus more to taste
Optional: Fresh dill, chopped
Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the sausage links and brown on every side, about 6 minutes total. (You do not have to cook them through.) Remove the sausages to a plate. Turn heat down to medium, then add the onions, salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they soften and start to turn gold.
Add the cabbage and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. It will feel like a lot of cabbage, but it really does cook down, so be patient. Folding it in with the onions helps speed up the process. Cook another 10 minutes, then nestle the sausages into the cabbage-onion mixture, and pour in the broth, so it comes about half way up each sausage. Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and cook another 10 minutes until sausages are cooked through.
Remove the sausages to serving bowls, then stir in apple cider vinegar into the cabbage-onion mixture. Taste and add up to another tablespoon if you want more brightness. Serve vegetables alongside the sausage. Top with dill, if using.
* We aren’t counting olive oil, salt, or pepper in the ingredient total.
P.S. More five-ingredient dinners, and my favorite no-recipe dinners for fall.