A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater: February's Chicken Patties with Rosemary & Pancetta

February 23, 2009 · 15 comments

in chicken/poultry,nigel slater


Reading through A Year in the Kitchen, I’ve discovered that Nigel really loves his pancetta, which may account for part of the reason I really love his recipes.

This dish appealed to me the second I read it.  It was one of the first recipes in February, but I knew immediately it would be the one I’d choose to make & blog for the month, as part of my year in the kitchen with Nigel.   I liked that these patties weren’t your standard burger, or a meatball in sauce. They were served simply with some stock that bubbled away as the patties finished cooking. We had these with some crusty rolls to soak up the stock, and a nice green salad.

Of course I did reduce the amount of butter in this recipe. Apparently a “thick slice” of butter to Nigel Slater = half a stick. I didn’t really think that was necessary since he was using a nonstick pan and the pancetta adds some fat, too.  I used ground lean chicken thighs, but white meat would work, too. I just love the flavor of thighs, and they’re much cheaper.

I opted to use my cast iron skillet for this all the way through (Nigel uses a nonstick pan and a baking dish). It’s well-seasoned, so it’s basically nonstick as it is. Plus it sears burgers and meats nicely, and can go in the oven.  And, who wants to use 2 or 3 pans when you can just use one? It seemed like the perfect tool for this dish.

We really loved these patties. They’re incredibly simple, both to make and ingredient-wise. The rosemary and pancetta almost give this a breakfasty-vibe, but  in a good way.  I loved using the bread to soak up the extra liquid, but these would also be great over mashed potatoes.  I’ll definitely make these again!


Chicken Patties with Rosemary and Pancetta

Serves 4
Adapted from Nigel Slater

1 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, diced
2 fat cloves garlic, minced
3 or 4 oz. pancetta, small dice
2 or 3 bushy sprigs of rosemary, chopped
1 lb. ground chicken (I used lean thighs, use what you want)
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup chicken stock

Heat a skillet (I used my cast iron skillet for all the steps) over medium heat. Add the butter to melt and then stir in the onion until lightly browned. Add the garlic, pancetta, and finally the rosemary.  Continue cooking until the pancetta is golden brown.  Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Add the mixture to the ground chicken, along with salt and pepper to taste. Lightly mix everything together and form into patties or meatballs. I decided to make 8 patties.  Let the patties settle for about half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375.  Wipe out  your skillet, and add a little oil to it–just enough to coat the bottom. Add the meatballs and brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet. Move the skillet off the heat and stir in the chicken broth, scraping up all the browned bits from the pan. Place the patties back into the skillet, and then put the pan in the oven. Cook for about 25 minutes,  until patties are fully cooked and stock is bubbling.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

brannyboilsover February 23, 2009 at 10:30 am

This looks like a great recipe. Did you grind your own meat?


elly February 23, 2009 at 10:44 am

Nope, I had them do it at the counter for me. I could really use that grinding attachment, though, so I can do it myself and save some moolah.


nina February 23, 2009 at 11:49 am

That second picture got my attention! Wow, so simple,yet so delicious!!!


Bellini Valli February 23, 2009 at 1:11 pm

These do sound incredible Elly. I will have to bookmark them for sure:D


dawn February 23, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I would love to try these. I have been making a lot of chicken burgers (curry ones were best) lately. They are just so good.


colleen February 23, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Yum, these look SO good! A great flavor combination!


truenorth67 February 23, 2009 at 3:12 pm

The pancetta gives the meat some backbone bone here and they look uber-juicy! ;)


Laurie Constantino February 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm

I like everything about these, they just sound so good. On grinding meat at home, you can do it in a food processor if they mean is really cold and you work only in very small batches. Just an option if you ever need it!


Peter G February 23, 2009 at 4:31 pm

These do look super juicy Elly…I love the idea of finishing them in some stock…yum!


Joelen February 24, 2009 at 10:04 am

These look so delicious! Great job!


RecipeGirl February 25, 2009 at 1:57 am

What a unique recipe- love the addition of pancetta!


maria February 25, 2009 at 5:33 pm

I love the rosemary and the pancetta here–great flavors Elly! Lovely dish.


Lori Lynn February 28, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I haven’t cooked much with ground chicken. These sound excellent. I have to look up Nigel Slater.
Lori Lynn


Erin March 11, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Ooh, Elly, those sound fantastic! I’m intrigued by Nigel Slater’s book… is it more cookbook or something you’d pick up and just read?


elly March 11, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Erin, the great thing about it, is that it’s sort of a combo! There are definitely quite a few more traditional recipes in there (ingredients, directions) but then there are times where he just talks about what he ate that day, what looked/smelled good at the farmers’ market, etc. I’ve been sort of reading along with it each month (so reading the Jan chapter in Jan, Feb in Feb, etc.). I recommend it!


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