Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Pancetta Wrapped Chicken Breast with Pan Roasted Potatoes and Sprouts

Pancetta wrapped chicken breast served with roast potatoes, sprouts and redcurrant sauce

Pancetta is a form of bacon from Italy. It is much closer to American bacon than British bacon (it is taken from the belly of the pig, rather than the back) but it tastes of course similar to both. It is important to remember when cooking with pancetta that you are extremely unlikely to need any additional salt, as the salt curing should provide all that you require. That is why the chicken breasts in this recipe are seasoned with white pepper only and the only salt used is in the poaching water for the potatoes and the Brussels sprouts.

Ingredients (Serves Two People)

2 skinless chicken breast fillets
10 slices of pancetta
12 small potatoes
10 Brussels sprouts
Salt (see note in opening paragraph)
White pepper
Redcurrant jelly

Chicken breast fillets and pancetta


Add your unpeeled potatoes to a large pot of cold salted water. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for twenty-five to thirty minutes until the potatoes are soft. Drain, cover and leave to cool completely.

Wrapping chicken breast fillets in pancetta

Start your oven preheating to 375F/190C. Lay the chicken breast fillets on a chopping board and carefully lay five strips of pancetta over each as shown. Tuck the pancetta in underneath. Lightly oil a foil lined roasting tray and sit the fillets on it, tucked sides down. The foil simply makes the tray easier to clean.

Pancetta wrapped chicken breasts ready for roasting

Cover the tray with a second sheet of foil and cook for twenty minutes. Remove the top sheet of foil and cook for a further fifteen minutes to crisp up the pancetta. Take the tray from the oven and pierce each fillet to ensure the juices run clear. Sit aside for fifteen minutes to rest.

Pancetta wrapped chicken breasts are rested

Trim any remaining excess stalk from the Brussels sprouts and remove any loose leaves. Put them in to a pot of boiling, lightly salted water and simmer for ten to twelve minutes, depending upon their size. They should be just softened when done, never soggy and starting to fall apart.

Peel the skin off the potatoes with your hand and roast in a deep frying pan of hot oil for five or six minutes until golden.

Peeling cooled potatoes for roasting

Remove the potatoes from the oil with a large slotted spoon to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain. The sprouts should be drained through a colander.

Put a pancetta wrapped chicken fillet on each plate, together with half the sprouts and potatoes. Add the redcurrant jelly and serve.

Pancetta wrapped chicken breast is plated

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