Hearty Chicken Stew with Pancetta Gremolata


Just when you thought the world didn’t need another chicken stew, this recipe came along to prove otherwise. Just thick enough and full of tender chicken and barely sweet parsnips, it’s remarkably hearty and yet light at the same time. We added a bouqet garni to infuse the stew with extra flavor; save time by substituting a few thyme sprigs and 1 bay leaf instead. The real hero of this dish is the pancetta gremolata; sprinkled over just before serving, it provides a finishing crispy and bright touch that makes this recipe a keeper.

Chicken Pot Roast Stew Recipe
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins


  • 4 ounces pancetta, chopped

  • 4 thyme sprigs

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 pounds bone-in, skinless chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 3 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch rounds (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 2 large parsnips, cut into 1/2-inch rounds (about 1 1/4 cups)

  • 3 medium shallots, chopped (about 3/4 cup)

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (from 4 garlic cloves)

  • 1 cup dry Riesling wine

  • 5 cups chicken stock

  • 1/2 pound baby gold potatoes (about 6 potatoes), halved or quartered

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest


  1. Cook pancetta in a large Dutch oven over medium, stirring occasionally, until crispy and fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon to a small bowl, reserving rendered fat in Dutch oven.

  2. While pancetta cooks, make a bouquet garni: Place thyme sprigs, bay leaf, peppercorns, and cloves in cheesecloth. Gather together and tie with kitchen twine; set aside.

  3. Increase heat to medium-high, and add butter and olive oil to Dutch oven. Season chicken with pepper and 1 teaspoon salt; place in Dutch oven, skin side down. Cook, undisturbed, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to a large plate, and set aside. (Chicken will not be fully cooked.)

  4. Add carrots, parsnips, shallots, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt to Dutch oven, and cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until vegetables start to soften, about 4 minutes. Add flour and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and flour has fully cooked, about 1 minute. Stir in wine, and cook, stirring and scraping to loosen browned bits from bottom of Dutch oven, until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, bouquet garni, reserved chicken thighs, and potatoes. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to medium-low, and simmer until a meat thermometer inserted in chicken registers 160°F, about 15 minutes. Remove chicken from Dutch oven, and set aside.

  5. Increase heat to medium, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Shred chicken with forks, and discard bones. Return chicken to Dutch oven, and cook until warmed through. Remove and discard bouquet garni. Finely chop reserved pancetta. Stir together chopped pancetta, parsley, and lemon zest. Serve over stew.

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