In Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie, there are four roasted chicken recipes ideal for time-strapped individuals: with cherry tomatoes and asparagus, wrapped in pancetta with leeks and thyme, with creamy butternut squash and chili, and with lemony Bombay potatoes. Each is designed to feed one person, so you can expand to fit your family’s appetite accordingly. You don’t need a single measurement tool for this one — just sprinkle, wrap and pour and it’s ready to go.
Using Jamie’s base recipe as my guide, I mix and match ingredients based on what I have in my refrigerator. Pancetta, or Italian bacon, imparts a wonderful flavor without as much grease as typical American bacon.
On this particular evening, I prepared my “famous” fake fried okra as our side dish, the delicious treat that the whole family adores (on those rare occasions when I can find okra at the market in Boise).
Ingredients (for 3):
- 3 Chicken Breasts
- Package of pancetta
- 1 Leek, chopped
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped in half (more or less if you prefer)
- 1/4 cup wine
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 TBSP butter
- Handful of fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pound each chicken breast slightly and wrap in pancetta. (One three ounce package is enough to wrap four breasts.) Place in oblong dish. Put the tomatoes and leeks around the chicken, then pour the wine and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Break up the thyme and sprinkle on top of chicken, and place butter pieces alongside. Season with salt and pepper. You don’t need a lot of salt because of the pancetta flavor.
Note: You could add asparagus, red peppers or another favorite veggie if you wish. Likewise, if you don’t like tomatoes, you could omit them– I personally like the flavor of the juice. The leeks also add a lot of flavor, so removing them would change the make-up of the dish.
As you can see, the dish is lovely even before it goes in the oven!
Cook about 35 minutes at 350 degrees. You can broil a few minutes before you remove from oven if you want the pancetta to be a little crisp.
For the okra, clean and chop into bite-sized pieces. Place in cooking plan and drizzle olive oil on the top. Then sprinkle with corn meal, salt and pepper. Cook about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure the okra does not burn. I like using a cast iron skillet because the okra ends up being crispier, as if it were deep fried.
I served mine with brown rice, but you could serve it with another vegetable, a side salad, or home-made corn bread.