Pancetta Wrapped Chicken with Chard

Flavorful and juicy chicken wrapped in crispy pancetta served with colorful and slightly orange flavored chard. This is rustic Italian cooking at it’s best. It’s perfect for a family meal and It has a simple, unpretentious beauty. I first had a version of this dish when traveling south of Naples and decided to pair it with polenta, which my Grandmother always called “peasant food”. I guess I’m pairing “rustic” with “peasant”.

My favorite part of this dish is the brothy sauce. It’s the kind of sauce you need to sop up with a crusty bread because you won’t want to miss a drop. The chicken thighs are unbelievably tender and tasty and the crisp, salty pancetta adds a mild bacon-like flavor. It can work well with lemon instead of orange, if you prefer, and spinach is good if you aren’t a fan of chard.

Buon Appetito!

Author:

Pancetta Wrapped Chicken with Chard

Juicy chicken wrapped in crispy pancetta served with colorful and slightly orange flavored chard. This is rustic Italian cooking at it's best! My favorite way to serve this is over creamy polenta.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 15 Mtotal time: 25 M

ingredients:

  • 8 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole orange
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

instructions:

How to cook Pancetta Wrapped Chicken with Chard

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and wrap in pancetta.  Heat olive oil in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown well on all sides until pancetta is crisp.  Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.  chicken will not be cooked through.  Remove excess oil, if necessary leaving about 2 tablespoon in the pan.  
  2. Cut a 1-inch peel around the whole orange trying to avoid white pith and slice it thinly. Set aside.  Juice the orange and discard any seeds.
  3. Reheat the skillet over medium heat, adding more oil if necessary.  Add garlic and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add chard and peel.  Cook until chard is wilted, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt. 
  4. Add the chicken and it's juices  to the pan.  Add the orange juice and pine nuts.  Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until chicken is cooked through and the flavors combine, about 10 minutes.  
  5. Serve over creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.  
Created using The Recipes Generator
Laura Bonicelli