Spit Roasted Chicken with Pancetta Stuffing

Pollo in porchetta (Tuscan Spit Roasted Chicken)

In secondi piatti, Toscana by Frank20 Comments

When I served this dish, several of my dinner guests were wondering what the ‘secret’ ingredient was that gave this Tuscan spit roasted chicken such a special flavor. Of course, rotisserie chicken is almost always wonderfully juicy and luscious, but pollo in porchetta—chicken prepared in the manner of roast suckling pig—is something else. The secret: you stuff the chicken with large chunks of pancetta and herbs. By the time the bird is done roasting, those aromas penetrate the meat and give it a luscious, savory flavor.

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

  • 1 roasting chicken

For the stuffing:

  • 125g (4 oz) pancetta (or salt pork), cut into chunks
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • A few sprigs each of fresh rosemary and sage
  • A handful of juniper berries
  • A few whole peppercorns

For roasting:

  • Salt and ground pepper
  • Olive oil

Directions

Salt the inner cavity of the chicken generously, then stuff with large chunks of pancetta and the other stuffing ingredients.

It is a good idea, especially if you want to spit roast it, to truss the bird to keep the legs and wings in place. Then season the bird by rubbing salt and pepper into the skin of the bird and drizzling olive oil all over it.

Pollo in porchetta-7

Once your bird is stuffed, seasoned and trussed, you roast it. The best way is to use the rotisserie on your barbecue. Set some aluminum pans with some water or wine in them below the bird to catch the drippings, and turn on the burners to each side, but not those directly beneath the bird. If you have a rotisserie burner, turn that on as well. Your set up should look something like this:

Pollo in porchetta-5

Start your rotisserie turning, close the lid of your barbecue and let the chicken roast until it is golden brown all over. The internal temperature should reach around 70 C/160 F. Roasting should take about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your bird.

Pollo in porchetta-4

If you don’t have a barbecue rotisserie available, you can also roast your chicken, on a rack, in a hot oven (200 C/400 F). If your oven has a rotisserie, so much the better. If you don’t have a rotisserie function, you will want to baste the bird from time to time with a bit of wine or olive oil to keep it moist.

After the chicken has been roasted, leave it to rest, tented with aluminum foil, for about 20-30 minutes before serving. Serve your Tuscan Spit Roasted Chicken cut into pieces, sprinkled with salt and, if you like, decorated with your favorite aromatic herbs for a bit of color and aroma. You can use the delicious drippings as a sauce, reducing it if need be in a small saucepan.

Spit Roasted Chicken with Pancetta Stuffing

Notes

Although the stuffing and seasoning will give any spit roasted chicken great flavor, of course buying the best quality chicken you can find will make this dish that much better. For this dinner, I bought a locally raised, free range, organic bird at a nearby farmers market. As pretentious as that may sound to some, it really does makes a huge difference.

Pollo in porchetta (Spit-Roasted Chicken with Pancetta Stuffing)

Rating: 51

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 roasting chicken
  • For stuffing:
  • 125g (4 oz) pancetta (or salt pork), cut into chunks
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • A few sprigs each of fresh rosemary and sage
  • A handful of juniper berries
  • A few whole peppercorns
  • For roasting:
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • Olive oil

Directions

  1. Salt the inner cavity of the chicken generously, then stuff with large chunks of pancetta and the other stuffing ingredients.
  2. It is a good idea, especially if you want to spit roast it, to truss the bird to keep the legs and wings in place. Then season the bird by rubbing salt and pepper into the skin of the bird and drizzling olive oil all over it.
  3. Once your bird is stuffed, seasoned and trussed, you roast it. The best way is to use the rotisserie on your barbecue. Set some aluminum pans with some water or wine in them below the bird to catch the drippings, and turn on the burners to each side, but not those directly beneath the bird. If you have a rotisserie burner, turn that on as well.
  4. Start your rotisserie turning, close the lid of your barbecue and let the chicken roast until it is golden brown all over. The internal temperature should reach around 70 C/160 F. Roasting should take about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your bird.
  5. If you don't have a barbecue rotisserie available, you can also roast your chicken, on a rack, in a hot oven (200 C/400 F). If your oven has a rotisserie, so much the better. If you don't have a rotisserie function, you will want to baste the bird from time to time with a bit of wine or olive oil to keep it moist.
  6. After the chicken has been roasted, leave it to rest, tented with aluminum foil, for about 20-30 minutes before serving. Serve the chicken, cut into pieces, sprinkled with salt and, if you like, decorated with your favorite aromatic herbs for a bit of color and aroma. You can use the delicious drippings as a sauce, reducing it if need be in a small saucepan.
http://memoriediangelina.com/2014/10/10/pollo-in-porchetta/

Comments

  1. Pingback: Pollo in porchetta (Spit Roasted Chicken with P...

  2. Frank, sounds delicious! We usually do everything but the pancetta & juniper berries and there is no question that this will be added to the list for our next roasted or barbecued chicken! Sounds so good and how can you not love a properly cooked chicken?? We often rub the outside with a combination of the oil and Dario’s salt!

  3. Frank, my husband will thank you for this. It sounds wonderful. I especially like your addition of juniper berries.

  4. Pingback: Pollo in porchetta (Spit Roasted Chicken with Pancetta Stuffing) | Food Blogger Style

  5. Sometimes on a Sunday, I will go to our butcher’s and get pollo arrosto from them … yours looks incomparably better and is making me salivate even though it’s nowhere near lunch- or dinnertime ! Slurp !!!

  6. @Roman: Thanks to *you* for your feedback! Glad to hear you enjoyed the dish. Pancetta does seem to make everything taste better… 🙂

  7. Tried this today and it was a resounding success, this recipe will now be my standard for roast chicken. Many thanks for this recipe…

  8. Fabulous, in Umbria we do almost everything “in porchetta” except that we use large amount of fennel fronds.
    We have have a fish dish “in porchetta”. It's a way to make everything better!

  9. Grrrrr…I was going to teriyaki the roaster in my fridge, but I might be swayed to try this instead of I've got enough pancetta. In any case, I'll mark this for next time!

Leave a Comment