Green Cheese and Guanciale Chicken Thighs
are fortunate that many good things come from the Piemonte region of
Northern Italy. Some of these are chestnuts, great meats and chefs.
Originally only in San Luis Obispo, Buona Tavola is a Piemonte inspired
restaurant who opened a Paso Robles location several years ago. We are
doubly fortunate that Chef Antonio Varia decided to also establish a
salumerie, Alle-Pia Fine Cured Meats. His guanciale is very authentic
and delicate, but if too exotic, non-Maple bacon would be ok. Chestnuts
are from Piemonte, but mostly you can find only ones from China, an ok
substitute. A run to Trader Joe’s takes care of the Pesto Gouda cheese,
so all you need are some nice chicken thighs, which J&R Meats, in
Templeton next to Trader Joe’s, or Costco, can supply. Snip a little
rosemary from the garden and you are set. Roll up these chicken thighs
and open up that Barbera.
8 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, pounded flat
4 ounces guanciale, cubed small, less than 1/2 inch
1 – 150 gram package boiled chestnuts (Gefen, at Trader Joe’s), also chopped small
1 package bulk Pesto Gouda cheese (Trader Joe’s) around 4 ounces for the recipe
2 Tablespoons Rosemary, finely chopped
non stick aluminum foil
Romano, freshly grated
8 sprigs of flat leaf parsley
oven to 450 degrees. Put about a teaspoon of olive oil in a sauté pan,
warm, then add the cubed guanciale to the pan and brown about 10
minutes. When the fat releases from the meat, add the chestnuts and
brown another 5 minutes.
While the meat is on the stove, shred the Gouda to yield 2 Tbsp cheese per chicken thigh.
lay each chicken thigh on an approximately 12 inch long piece of non
stick aluminum foil. The thighs will be topped with the meat, cheese
and rosemary, then rolled in the foil. When the meat is done, divide it
among the thighs; sprinkle the cheese evenly over the meat, top with
rosemary. Using the foil, roll the chicken, then fold over the sides of
the foil to create a packet, place seam side up on a baking sheet.
35 minutes, remove to rest 5 minutes. Remove from foil packets, plate
and top with grated Romano cheese and parsley. Serve with Barbera.