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Chicken with sage and pancetta September 30, 2010

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Chicken.

My goodness gracious, what a week it has been. It definitely makes me want to retire to my brownstone, go through a full Relapse, and not come out for many days. However, as I am not Nero Wolfe and have no brownstone to retire to, I will have to be content with remembering this dish instead.

I made this a while ago after buying some sage I intended to use in another dish which never eventuated. I was left with a bunch of sage I had to use up rather quickly, so I decided to pair it with some chicken. I roughly followed this recipe; however, I substituted the prosciutto with pancetta.

To begin with, I cut thin slices of potato and sprinkled them with salt and pepper, then tossed them in olive oil. I layered them in the bottom of a baking dish, and sprinkled parsley on top.

I ended up with a couple layers of potatoes, meaning that they all didn’t end up uniformly crispy at the end – this was fine with me, but if you’re after super crispy potatoes, you’ll need to have a single layer only.

To prepare the chicken, I added salt and pepper, and 3 sage leaves per chicken breast. I wrapped the chicken in two slices of pancetta – this was mostly due to the shape of the pancetta and the fact that my wrapping skills were lacking! I secured the pancetta with some toothpicks and placed the chicken/pancetta parcels on top of the potatoes, and put the whole lot in the oven.

The recipe called for the chicken to be cooked for 15-20 minutes but I ended up cooking it for about 30 – I think I probably had larger pieces of chicken than the recipe called for. I pulled the pan out about halfway through and turned the potatoes.

After 30 minutes, I took the pan out of the oven and let the chicken rest. While it was resting, I made a butter and sage sauce to accompany the chicken. For this, I melted butter, added salt and pepper, and then put in a handful of sage leaves.

I cooked the sage leaves until they were crispy. By this time the chicken had rested and was ready to serve. I placed the potatoes to one side, then added the chicken and spooned the sauce over the top.

Now, I must apologise because I did not take a photo of the chicken once it was cut open – because by that time I was busily devouring it! Nevertheless I can report that this was a very nice combination of flavours, with the sage permeating the chicken, while the pancetta helped in keeping the chicken very moist. The pancetta itself had gone slightly crispy which was great with the moist chicken. Some of the potatoes had gone very crispy while others had remained soft, and I really liked the contrast.

The pairing of sage and chicken is not a new one, but for me it was a very good way to use up my sage and do something a little different. And maybe this will provide a good kick-off to the start of a Relapse…



1. Teena - October 1, 2010

that looks totally tempting..
at first glance I thought it was horseradish though, red-rimmed ‘n all πŸ™‚
I’ve had one of those weeks too and look forward to a comparatively quiet weekend with some relaxing cooking. Still have to use up my red kuri squash but might shelve it for another day or two, they keep. Mouth is definitely watering now at 2am, must get fresh sage first thing tomorrow.
thanks for the inspiration.
BTW – the sauerkraut turned out alright.. totally was not what I was used to from the regular fare but definitely good.. must experiment with some added spices next time…

inspiredbywolfe - October 1, 2010

Thanks Teena! I have heard of red kuri squash but I don’t think I’ve ever eaten one. Glad the sauerkraut came out OK even if it was not what you were expecting. If you after spicy cabbage, you could always try making kimchi – essentially the same as making sauerkraut with the addition of lots of dried chili! And you only have to wait a few days before eating it…

Teena - October 2, 2010

it wasn’t what I expected because it was so different from the fresh sauerkraut I normally buy at the markt. I very much loved it, just saying I’m up for more experiments (memories of chemistry class all those years back :).
as for kuri squash – do try. if I get round to I’ll post 2 ‘recipes’ I tried recently. Then again, I forgot that it’s not autum in your parts πŸ˜€

2. berrytravels - October 1, 2010

Oh this looks good. The dining partner doesn’t eat chicken, but I’m sure I can substitute it with other meats. I shall have to give this a go! I tend to have sage around that ends up spoiling as I have no idea what else to do with them.

inspiredbywolfe - October 1, 2010

Thanks berrytravels! I am jealous you have sage that ends up spoiling – I can never get enough of the stuff! If you are wanting to substitute for this recipe, I’d suggest pork is probably your best bet – I’m not sure how well a meat like lamb would go with the pancetta. Or maybe you could use veal and add some thyme as well to turn it into a heavier dish?

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