Chicken Stew with Mushrooms, Pancetta and Peas (serves 4)
This one pot stew is made using chicken thighs which gives the sauce a deeper flavor, though it is a bit tiresome taking the fat off the thighs. Only add salt at the end of cooking, if needed, as the pancetta is salty. I bought my pancetta from an Italian deli and they cut it and diced it for me – ideally you want little cubes. Start off with one cup of chicken stock and add more as needed.
2 tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 large onion – diced
1 lb chicken thighs – with no skin or fat and chopped into bite size pieces
4 oz pancetta – diced
12 oz mushrooms – rinsed and sliced
1 cup chicken stock
2 handfuls of frozen peas
Put 1 tbsp. olive oil and pepper in a cast iron casserole dish (Le Creuset or similar).
When sizzling add onion and cook until browned and softened.
Then add chicken pieces and cook until browned on the outside.
Remove chicken and onions from casserole dish.
Add pancetta to casserole and cook until crisp. Then remove from casserole dish and place on paper towel to absorb the grease.
If needed add the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil to casserole dish and when sizzling add mushrooms and cook till soft.
Place all ingredients back into casserole dish and add the stock.
Bring to a boil and them simmer for 30 minutes, adding more stock if necessary.
At the end of 30 minutes add the peas and they will cook by themselves in the liquid.