On these chilly and wet fall nights there is nothing I love more than a bowl of soup. This recipe for Chicken Spezzatino is my absolute favorite. Spezzatino is Italian for stew – It’s hearty yet light, the perfect combination. I enjoy a big bowl with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a toasted slice of rustic sourdough.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (4-ounce) piece pancetta, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 packed cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 skinless chicken breasts with rib meat (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)
- 12 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
In a heavy 5 or 6 quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until brown and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and drain on paper towels. Set aside. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock, basil, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf. Add the chicken and press down to submerge. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, turning the chicken over and stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add the artichokes and the cannellini beans and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid has reduced slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken and let cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bones and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Return the meat to the saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes until warmed through. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Season the spezzatino with salt and pepper, to taste.
Ladle the spezzatino into bowls and garnish with the cooked pancetta.
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis