Zita has pointed out an omission in the blog’s chicken section, and I agree that no family recipe collection would be complete without ‘Chicken in pancetta’. It is a comforting, home-made invention that often served as a special meal when we marked rites of passage: birthdays, heading off on travels, returning home from university. Feel free to use bacon instead of pancetta, and any cream you need to use up in the fridge.
4 chicken breasts
8 fat sprigs tarragon
1 pack pancetta or thin streaky bacon – you need 3 slices per chicken breast
150ml white wine
Crème fraîche and / or cream (single or double)
Salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 / 180 fan.
Cut a slit down the underside of each chicken breast. Lay the pancetta slices out, slightly overlapping, in groups of three and place a chicken breast on top of each set of slices, slit side up. Stuff a big sprig of tarragon into each breast and season with pepper; you shouldn’t need salt because pancetta is already quite salty. Fold the pancetta slices over, encasing each breast. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan or shallow casserole dish – use something that can go both on the hob and in the oven. Fry the chicken parcels, seam-side up for a couple of minutes, then turn them over so that the seam is underneath and fry for another couple of minutes. Cover with foil and put in the oven for 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken breasts. While they’re cooking, strip the leaves from your four remaining tarragon sprigs and chop finely.
Remove the chicken parcels to a board and return the pan / casserole dish to the hob on a medium-high heat. Deglaze the pan with white wine and allow to cook down a little, then add crème fraîche and / or cream (I recommend 2 tbsp of the former and 100 ml of the latter), bubble through and allow to cook down a little on a lower heat for 5 minutes. Stir in your chopped tarragon at the end and check the seasoning.
While the sauce is bubbling, slice the chicken parcels into ¾ cm strips and arrange on a serving dish. Pour over the sauce and serve with vegetables of your choice.
One thought on “Chicken in pancetta”
took a mild chicken curry to Sh Park last evening and allowed to invite the Rimmers so a jolly party and Mumsy stayed up until 2200 and eat slightly more than a sparrow
following UC with especial interest, RD
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