Pan cooked chicken thighs with pancetta, olives and herbs

Here is an idea for tonight’s dinner: chicken thighs wrapped in pancetta with olives and herbs. Prep time 20 minutes!

Recently I prepared a recipe of new potatoes wrapped in smoked bacon so I thought I could do the same for chicken.

The recipe worked incredibly well as the pancetta (or bacon) keeps the chicken moist and adds so much flavour to it! A handful of olives and chopped fresh herbs will make this dish very moreish indeed. My children went mad about it.

I served it with slow cooked polenta which I then chargrilled on the griddle pan and salad but you can serve it with boiled rice, potatoes, couscous, quinoa or just with rustic bread.

An easy mid-week meal for the family.

  • Prep Time : 20 minutes
  • Cook Time : 40 minutes
  • Yield : 4


  • chicken thighs fillets – 8
  • rosemary stick – 1
  • sage leaves – handful
  • onion – 1
  • pancetta or bacon – 8 rashers
  • white wine – a drop
  • olives – handful
  • water – 100 ml – 3.4 fl oz
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil


Remove the leaves from the rosemary sprig. Wash and chop the rosemary and 6 sage leaves finely. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper then roll them in the chopped herbs.

Wrap a rasher of bacon around each chicken thigh.

Chop the onion finely and stir fry it with two tbsp of olive oil. Add the chicken thighs and brown them on both sides. Add a dash of white wine and let it evaporate.

Add the olives, the water, a few more sage leaves and cook uncovered for about 40 minutes over a gentle heat. All the liquid in the pan should reduce.

Check that the chicken is cooked through, it should not be pink in the middle. Serve with salad or steamed vegetables.


12 thoughts on “Pan cooked chicken thighs with pancetta, olives and herbs

  1. This looks like a great alternative to the several ‘recipes’ with chicken thighs (or whole legs) we eat regularly but I wondered what you meant by “slow cooked polenta”. I found your post about polenta prepared in the traditional way and guess that may be what you meant. In fact this latter post could equally well have been written about Romania, even down to the traditional cooking pot (called ‘ceaun’ in Romania) and the ‘crisps’ left in the pot. The result in Romania is called mămăligă. You’re right about the quite different taste (and texture) with wholemeal. I’ve never seen that in the UK but it’s normal in the countryside in Romania, with everything including the bran. We bring as much back as we can when we visit.


    1. These days you can find quick-cook polenta and many people only buy that. Your are right, I have never seen the proper traditional polenta flour in the UK yet. Romania and Italy have many traditions in common. I have several Romanian friends and sometimes we can understand each other’s languages. I love that!


  2. This recipe is another winner, easy peasy and delicious. I particularly liked the fact that you coated the chicken thighs with finely chopped herbs before wrapping with pancetta. That means extra flavour and no chance of the herbs over-cooking.


  3. Hi Alida, this looks like a recipe that my whole family would enjoy, also your preparation method sounds fantastic, thanks for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s