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Roast Chicken with Corn-Pancetta Relish

Don't be put off by the long ingredient list; the luscious tender chicken and sweet-savory relish is easy to prepare. Chef Lance Dean Velasquez likes to serve rich buttery with this dish.

slideshow Amazing Chicken Recipes

  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely julieneed lime zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 4-ounce piece of pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 heaping cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • One 3-pound chicken, preferable free range
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • Zest of 1 lemon, cut ino 1-inch strips
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine


  1. In a small saucepan of boiling water, blanch the lime zest for 1 minute. Drain and set aside. Heat the oil in a nonreactive medium saucepan. Add the pancetta and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until lightly browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel and drain.
  2. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring a few times, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, garlic, ginger and a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Raise the heat to moderate and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the lime juice, brown sugar, cayenne, crushed red pepper and blanched lime zest and bring to a simmer. Add the corn and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pancetta and transfer to a bowl to cool. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cilantro.
  3. Preheat the oven to 475°. Stuff the chicken cavity with the garlic, lemon zest and rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Truss the chicken and set it, breast side down, on an oiled roasting rack. Roast for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken breast side up and reduce the oven temperature to 400°. Roast the chicken, basting for about 45 minutes longer, or until the juices from the cavity run clear. Remove the bird and rack from the pan, cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Set the roasting pan on 2 burners over moderately high heat and pour in the wine and 1/2 cup of water. Simmer over moderately low heat for 5 minutes, scraping up the browned bits. Strain the gravy, skim off the fat and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Carve the chicken into 4 pieces and arrange on 4 plates. Spoon the corn relish over the chicken and serve at once with the pan gravy.

Make Ahead

The relish can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Let return to room temperature before serving.

Suggested Pairing

The tangy and salty accents of this dish call for a full, round and fruity California Chardonnay.

Contributed By Published August 1996

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