Chicken with Mozzarella and Smoked Pancetta

Chicken with Mozzarella and Smoked PancettaHaving just made a large slab of smoked pancetta I was casting about for recipes in which to use it when I came across a menu listing for Chicken Sinatra on the web site of an Italian restaurant chain in Virginia. Without their recipe I can only surmise how it might be made and I had no interest in what they described as a “semi-sweet Grand Marnier cream sauce.” Still, the combination of chicken, mozzarella, and smoked pancetta seemed like something worth exploring. So, I threw this together and served it with Italian-spiced potato wedges.

Ingredients

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 thin slices of mozzarella a bit smaller than the chicken breasts
  • Chiffonnade of several fresh basil leaves
  • Two thin slices of smoked pancetta or bacon
  • Olive oil
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup dry vermouth
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut a slit down the side of each chicken breast. Put a piece of mozzarella and half the basil in each. Wrap a slice of pancetta around it.

Put an oven-proof non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Film with olive oil and add the chicken with the loose ends of the pancetta down. Cook until the pancetta is crispy enough that it does not unwrap when you turn chicken over. Brown for about 2 minutes on that side then turn back over and finish in the hot oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. Shut off the oven. Remove the chicken to plates, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and return to the oven to keep warm.

Adjust the amount of fat in the frying pan to about 1 tablespoon, set over medium heat, and quickly brown the garlic lightly. Pour in the vermouth, raise the temperature a bit, and boil until it has reduced by half. Add the cream and continue cooking until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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2 responses to “Chicken with Mozzarella and Smoked Pancetta

  1. sunhfarm February 22, 2011 at 11:27

    Sounds like a great way to try pancetta. Where do you get yours? I guess I would try Roma’s first.

    • Leo Cotnoir February 22, 2011 at 11:39

      I made the pancetta with pork side I bought at Maines. I posted the recipe about a week ago. After curing I left one piece flat and smoked it over applewood. The other piece I rolled and it is hanging in the basement drying

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