This Little Pig loves any excuse to pop a warming meal on and in the case of this incredible Tuscan Chicken – it is best done when friends are coming over (or at least pretend they’re coming over so you make a giant batch of it). The crispy chicken is perfectly offset by the creamy salty broth it sits in, with crusty bread dipped in catching the crispy pancetta pieces and soaked up by the fluffy mashed potato. Your minds will explode with joy when you try this for the first time, trust me on this one piglet.
This meal was first tried by this Little Pig at a gardening busy bee. It had been pouring with rain, these fine swine’s were covered in dirt and freezing cold. After showers and the donning of tracky pants these piglets settled themselves down to steaming bowl of deliciousness that Jessica had prepared and had in the oven since the morning. It’s possible it was the most amazing thing this fine swine has ever enjoyed...apart from spaghetti in general, prosciutto wrapped scallops at its wedding and a T-Bone steak that was cooked on an open fire at a Tuscan Villa..but APART from that DEFINITELY the best. Anyway...this is a must cook piglets and it may sound a bit tricky with a lot of ingredients but it’s super easy – most go into the chicken marination station.
Feeds:4-6 Hungry Piglets.
Prep Time: 5 Mins. Cooking Time: 1 Hr.
Hot crusty bread, steamed lemon broccolini & mashed potato (boil potatoes & mash up with butter, stock water you cooked them in, a finely diced garlic clove, some parmesan cheese & fresh herbs) – or look at the mashed potato from this recipe HERE.
**Handy Tip: you can marinate your chicken the night before or the morning of dining to ensure that it is utterly flavoursome and even quicker to prepare. This Little Pig has never been that organised but it hears that some people in the world are that organised so there you go the tip is out there now.
Ingredients of Winter Wonderfulness:
4-6 x Chicken Marylands (free range)
1 x Can Cannelloni beans
1 x Packet Diced Pancetta
5 x Rosemary Sprigs
6 x Tbs Olive Oil
3 x Shallots
2 x Lemons
1 x Italian Parsley Bunch
1 x Thyme Bunch
1 x Tsp Gourmet Stock (or a litre of stock)
1 x Tbs Paprika
1 x Tbs Chilli Flakes
1 x Cup of White Wine (what you do with the rest of the bottle is no one else’s business)
5 x Garlic Cloves
Method of Winter Wonderfulness:
- Take one of your lemons and zest him by using the finest side of your grater to shave off just his yellow skin. Now slice both of the lemons into thin wagon wheels a.k.a. circles.
- Skin and finely slice your garlic cloves (5) and shallots (3).
- Pull all the leaves off your rosemary and thyme stems and finely dice your parsley (no stems) – keep Mr. Parsley separate: he’s for the main event later.
- Pop your chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour over your olive oil (6 Tbs), rosemary and thyme leaves, lemon zest, lemon wheels, ¼ of your sliced garlic, paprika (1 Tbs) & chilli flakes (1 Tbs).
- With clean trotters massage it into your chicken – don’t be squeamish piglet you must learn to immerse yourself in the food.
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
- Now take a large pot in which you plan to cook your whole meal (we’re talking a nice large, bottomed casserole pot here piglets or This Little Pig actually just uses its largest scan pan tray as it can go on the hot plate and in the oven - HANDY). Pour your pancetta and some olive oil (1 Tbs) into the cold pot and heat up until hot to trot.
- Cook until the pancetta is crispy and then add in your shallot and garlic and cook for another minute until the shallot is starting to turn translucent.
- Pour your cannelloni beans WITH the juice in the tin, your white wine (1 cup), gourmet stock (1 Tsp) and a litre of water into the pancetta pan and bring to the boil. Allow to bubble away until starting to thicken.
- Meanwhile, heat a large frypan until really nice and hot then nestle your chicken pieces in skin side down. Cook until they are golden brown and then turn and cook until golden brown on the other side.
- Nestle your chicken into the bean broth - making sure you keep it out enough so the skin stays crispy.
- Pop your whole tray into the oven for around 30-60 mins or until chicken is starting to fall off the bone and the broth is thickened.
- Serve to the middle of the table in the tray you cooked the meal in, with your rustic mashed potato, hot bread, lemon broccolini and some freshly chopped parsley. Make sure your guests (or just yourself) get lots of the pancetta bean broth for bread dipping too. How delicious is that piglets?? SO delicious.