Babes, What’s for Dinner: Rosemary Chicken with Pancetta

Our new favorite show is “Two Greedy Italians” from BBC Two.  It’s a fun show that follows two old chefs, Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo, around as they explore their roots in Italy.

They make the most amazing-looking food on the show.  Unfortunately, the recipes aren’t posted anywhere so the following is our attempt at recreating the featured deliciousness that Gennaro made with wild pheasant.

Considering that there aren’t too many wild pheasants roaming around Hollywood, we had to make do with some organic chicken drumsticks that were on sale at Sprouts.  Even with the organic chicken, the entire meal ended up being about $3 per serving and this configuration can serve two gluttonous individuals or three normal people:

  • 4± tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ lbs of bone-in chicken (in this instance, breast may not be best)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (ours were from our window box)
  • 12 slices of thinly sliced pancetta (about two slices per piece of chicken)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed with skin on
  • 1 dry chili pepper, broken up
  • 1 cup of Chardonnay (or any good-enough-for-drinking white wine will do)

First, fire up a skillet on medium high heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom.  Any heavy skillet with a lid or braiser will do.  We used our rarely-used cast iron tagine and it worked perfectly.

Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and lightly coat with flour.  Shake off the excess and brown the chicken in the by-now-should-be-hot-enough skillet.

Once the chicken is browned on both sides, lower the heat to medium-low, and add the chili pepper, garlic, pancetta and rosemary sprigs.

Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.

Then, add the white wine, cover and let cook for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare its perfect accompaniment, polenta.

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of unsalted butter

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the butter, and stir until melted.

Serve the chicken (and garlic) atop a healthy dollop of the polenta and be sure to drizzle with the braising liquid.

Buon appetito!

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2 comments on “Babes, What’s for Dinner: Rosemary Chicken with Pancetta

  1. shelly says:

    ALRIGHT!!! i will give this a try tonight

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