Chicken & Bacon Bolognese

Sometimes you just can’t beat a good Italian meal. Today was one of those days. Except today wasn’t a traditional meaty ragu or bolognese. Today was a chicken and bacon type of day. I had loads of veggies to use, alongside some bacon, so came the idea of making a bolognese except with chicken thighs instead.

I’ve used chicken thighs in this recipe because chicken thighs is one of the best part of the chicken than produces the most amazing flavours. As a chicken cut, thighs have plenty of flavour and work perfectly when roasted, breaded or served in a delicious sauce.

I’ve used chicken thighs with the bone-in and skin-on at the start, and just before slow cooking and adding the sauce, I removed both. Inspired by the classic Italian pasta sauce, this dish has all the flavour with the added smokiness of the bacon and tomato, with fabulous herbs and a yummy sauce.

Inspired by the classic Italian pasta sauce, chicken thighs and new potatoes are flavoured with bacon and tomato in this yummy dish.

Preparation: 15 minutes

Pre-cook: 30 minutes

Slow cook: 4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 8 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
  • 2 tbsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 750g skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 3 rashers of smoked bacon
  • Rice bran or olive Oil
  • 1 courgette, diced
  • 2 small carrots, washed, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

Method:

Turn on the hob to medium heat, add a dash of oil to a deep pot, along with 2 tbsp garlic granules, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp rosemary and 1 tsp thyme, heating for a few minutes. Add chopped bacon and stir. Turn the heat down, careful not to burn the bacon.

After a few minutes, add the chicken thighs, skin side down and a little more oil. Cook on both sides, continuously turning every few minutes.

After 8-10 minutes, add carrots, onions, courgettes, peppers and cherry tomatoes. Mix and cook for 5-6 minutes.

Remove the thighs from the pot onto a chopping board. Carefully remove the skin and bones and slice into thin strips. Return to pot and mix in with the vegetables. This is a little messy but the flavours to come is well worth it.

Add the chopped tomatoes, a dash of red wine, a little more of the herbs, salt and pepper and some dried parsley. Fill the empty tin of tomatoes with cold water twice, add to the pot and mix. Cook on a low heat for 5-10 minutes before adding to a slow cooker of the medium setting for 4 hours.

Serve with pasta or spaghetti and garlic bread.

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