I cook with chicken a lot and have found my family prefers the boneless, skinless chicken thighs over the breast meat. I know some folks will argue the thigh meat doesn’t have the same lean qualities as the breast meat, however when you’re preparing a meal for both children and adults, sometimes you have to compromise a little.
Besides, once you taste these Involtini di Pollo, also known as chicken wrapped in pancetta, you may end up conceding your argument. The flavor of the darker meat is so juicy and tender, much more so than the white meat could accomplish. The crispy coating of the browned pancetta wrapped around the chicken locks in the flavors of the toasted garlic and fresh sage nestled inside, resulting in a rich and almost buttery taste.
Another plus, the left-over chicken was even better warmed up on day two, so this dish makes a great second meal too!
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
6 slices pancetta or prosciutto
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
1) Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small sauté pan and cook the garlic until slightly toasted.
2) Lay the chicken thighs out on a cutting board and lightly season each piece with salt, pepper, the toasted garlic and the fresh chopped sage.
3) Roll up each thigh and then wrap a thin piece of the pancetta around the chicken. Tie each bundle with kitchen string.
4) Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan and place the chicken in the pan. Cook until all sides are browned evenly, about 10-15 minutes.
5) Add the wine and the chicken stock to the pan then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and simmer the chicken for 20-30 minutes until it is cooked through and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork.
6) Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm. Increase the heat on the sauté pan and cook the sauce until it has thickened, about 5-8 minutes.
7) Serve the chicken with pasta or roasted vegetables and a spoonful of the pan sauce on top.