Have you ever cooked with pancetta before? I have to admit that I had not until recently. It is an ingredient that I had, however, seen Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network utilize many times, always over-enunciating the Italian pronunciation as she discusses it.
Pancetta is similar to bacon, in that it is salt cured pork, except unlike bacon, pancetta is not smoked. I found this pancetta at Whole Foods.
Recently I tried it in this really fantastic, wholesome chicken dinner I made.
Just a bit of prep work was required – bell peppers, shallots, lemon zest, rosemary, garlic powder, and chopped pancetta.
Next up, I seared chicken breast cutlets in an oiled, heavy duty pan.
After setting the chicken aside, time for the pork! Or, well, pancetta, to be specific. It smelled as you might expect – bacon minus the smoky element. Enticing! Once crisp, I removed the pancetta from the pan as well.
My pan had a bit of fat in the bottom of it from the pancetta, and it was in this that I sautéed my bell peppers and sliced shallots, along with the lemon zest and seasonings. Mmm!
By now, there was a lovely browned layer of caramelized goodness in the bottom of my pan from the chicken, pancetta, and veggies, so I deglazed the pan with chicken stock and scraped all that flavor from the bottom of the dish with a wooden spatula.
Then I added more chicken stock mixed with flour, and allowed the sauce to come to a boil and thicken slightly. Finally, I added the seared chicken back to the pot, and let it simmer for 8 minutes, or until cooked through.
I hope you are ready for some moist and tender chicken!
The chicken stock “gravy” that is created is AMAZING! Please do yourself a favor and serve this dish over something carb-y, like egg noodles or orzo, so that it can bathe in all that sauce deliciousness!
Salty olives and crisp, meaty pancetta pieces made the most delectable toppings for this chicken dish.
This dish is so comforting and wholesome, and makes what could potentially be boring chicken into something special that I would serve guests.
I absolutely loved this recipe and can’t wait to prepare it again!
Chicken with Rosemary, Red Bell Peppers and Olives
Recipe from McCormick [discovered on Pinterest! – recipe lightly adapted]
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pancetta
- 2 bell peppers, cut into short thin strips (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken stock)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 4 teaspoons flour
- 1/4 cup pitted green olives, quartered
- Season chicken with sea salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes or until browned, turning once. Remove chicken from skillet. Keep warm. Add pancetta to skillet; cook and stir 2 minutes or until crisp. Remove from skillet.
- Stir bell peppers, shallots, lemon peel, garlic powder and rosemary into skillet. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in white wine. Reduce heat to low; simmer 2 minutes or until reduced by half.
- Mix stock and flour until well blended. Add to skillet. Bring to boil. Return chicken to skillet. Simmer, covered, 8 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened. Sprinkle with olives and pancetta. Serve with cooked orzo, if desired.
My rating: 8.5