(A Recipe from Tuscany)
2 (1 ½ LB) BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS – skin on
1 CUP DRY WHITE WINE
½ CUP OLIVE OIL
1/3 CUP HONEY
3 TBS SEA SALT – or to taste
2 TBS MINCED ROSEMARY
¼ CUP ROSEMARY LEAVES – or to taste
FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER – to taste
3 LBS YUKON GOLD POTATOES
12 GARLIC CLOVES – peeled and divided
1 TBS FENNEL POWDER
3-4 OZ PANCETTA – thinly sliced
Note: you will need some Butcher’s string, for tying.
Peel the potatoes, dice and set aside. Using the flat side of a mallet, pound the chicken until it is about ¼” thick and set aside. Whisk together, wine, 1/3 cup olive oil, honey, 3 Tbs salt, minced rosemary and a grinding of black pepper in a bowl. When well blended, add the chicken and toss to coat all over. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for about 1 hour.
Pre-heat oven to 400º. Toss the remaining oil, all the rosemary leaves, diced potatoes, salt and a little ground pepper on a baking sheet. Smash 6 of the garlic cloves and mix in. Roast, stirring occasionally, until slightly golden and a little tender for about 30 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat your grill adjusting the flame so that the heat is at medium high. If you prefer, you can use a heavy-duty grill pan heated on your stove top over a medium-high flame. Mince the remaining garlic cloves with a tiny bit of oil to make a paste. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat a little dry. Place chicken on a work surface, skin side down, and rub with half of the garlic paste and fennel (Fiore di Finocchio) and some salt and pepper.
Lay half the pancetta, overlapping slightly, on top. If you prefer or find it easier, you can give the pancetta a coarse chop and spread it on the garlic paste. Working from the long side, roll the chicken into a tight roll and secure using the butcher’s string. Repeat with the second breast. Season the outside of the chicken with a little salt and pepper (I also like to add a little garlic powder as I am a big fan of garlic). Grill the rolls, turning occasionally and several times, until the skin is slightly charred and crisp. About 10 minutes.
Place the chicken on the potato mixture and roast until the potatoes are very tender and you know the chicken is cooked all the way through; about 30–40 minutes.
If checking with a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roll, it should read 165º. Let rest a few minutes to retain all the juices and then remove string and slice. Place the slices over the potatoes and serve.