Chicken Wrapped in Pancetta & Sage w/Red Pepper Salad
Happy Birthday Lisa!
Yesterday we celebrated my sister’s birthday and decided to serve this week’s recipes chosen for menu # 8 from the Gutsy Cooks Club: Chicken Wrapped in Pancetta & Sage (which also includes roasted tomatoes) and a Red Pepper Salad.
Though I’ve heard of pancetta (pn-cht), I had never cooked it before. Basically, it is a type of dry cured meat, similar to bacon. It is pork belly that has been salt cured and spiced (nutmeg, pepper, fennel, dried ground hot peppers and garlic are often featured), and dried for about three months (but usually not smoked). There are many varieties, and in Italy each region produces its own type.
There was a lot of hustling and bustling (can you say chaotic??) in my kitchen as Sam and I were preparing the two separate recipes, along with appetizers….while, at the same time my mom was baking my sister a pineapple upside down cake.
I know you’re probably thinking (or maybe it’s me, talking to me) I could have and SHOULD HAVE prepared some of these in advance…but in typical Cynthia fashion, I left everything for the “last hour”.
Let’s face it…it’s a lot more fun that way…it’s my version of being a contestant on one of the Food Network’s challenges, totally being under the gun…but the only difference is, there’s no secret ingredient.
Instead, it’s just me working against the clock (and driving my husband crazy), praying that my guests don’t arrive before I can at least offer them something to nibble on.
Which brings me to say….
God bless you SAM! You are SO patient with me…I LOVE you DEARLY! 🙂
While I prepared the tomatoes, by simply cutting in half, drizzling with olive oil, some S&P and roasting for an hour.
Sam was kind enough to take on the task of wrapping the chicken with the pancetta and sage.
Nice job, huh?
The chicken had to cook in olive oil in a frying pan for approximately 10 minutes…however, the pancetta took an awfully long time to cook, compared to the chicken, which concerned me because I DO NOT like overcooked (dry) meat and or seafood.
Finally after about 20 minutes, it was done.
The red pepper salad was simple…
Cook peppers in olive oil and garlic, add chopped, peeled, seedless tomatoes, parsley and you’re pretty much done.
Both recipes are from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible
by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner
So what was the bottom line? Everyone really enjoyed the meal, including (and most importantly) the birthday girl.
Believe it or not, what was a true hit was the dressing (and my basil pesto ;-)). Who would have thought, huh?
All in all, I’d say the birthday dinner was a success, including mom’s pineapple upside down cake.
Ladies and Gentlemen…this concludes this week’s Edible Adventure.
You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients. —-Julia Child