When I was a kid, my mom would make these fabulous and enormous dinners when family and friends came to our house. She’d work for two days making heaping piles of meatballs, stuffed artichokes, baked ziti, eggplant Parmesan, and a host of other delicious Italian dishes. I loved all these dishes (and still do) but came to really appreciate the easy simplicity of her baked chicken and Italian sausage dish once I started hosting my own parties.
Roasted chicken and sausage is really the perfect meal for a crowd (although it’s also pretty darn good for a family dinner). First of all, it’s incredibly easy to make and you can finish most of the dish before your guests come over. Then, as the dish cooks, you get the extra benefit of having your home infused with the lovely aroma of roasted meat that will prime your guests for their upcoming meal. Another bonus is that it’s an economical meal to serve to a large group.
Easy and affordable are great, but in the end, it’s really about taste. The biggest reason I make this dish is because I love chicken and sausage, and in this dish, the comforting appeal of roasted chicken is intermingled with the savory deliciousness of baked sausage to form a beautiful marriage of flavor. I often use Molinari sweet Italian sausage from Piedmont Grocery. I really like the flavor of this sausage, as well as the fact that Molinari and Sons is a San Francisco company that has been selling sausages locally since 1896.
For the chicken, I use a nice organic Petaluma Poultry Rosie, also from Piedmont Grocery. It warms my heart to think of all those little chickens running around outdoors, gobbling up organic corn and soybeans before they meet that great chicken in the sky. As a mother, I appreciate the fact that there aren't hormones in it, and, as someone who tries to buy locally, I love that it's sustainably farmed nearby.