Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Chicken Pancetta and Mushroom Stew from Donna Hay

 Halloween trick-or-treating and parties are quite different these days in comparison to when I was growing up. For starters it was colder this time of year as I was in Pennsylvania then instead of Florida.  It would be such a drag when mom insisted we wear a coat because of the chill.  Kids would always complain that our costumes couldn't be seen - very important back in the day when you were a kid!

A group of us would wander off to visit the houses on our block, up and down streets without adults and without fear. No cell phones then, just a check-in time before the curfew siren went off at the fire station at 10:00 p.m.
I wonder if they still do that in Parkside, PA.

We would have a hot meal before going out and collecting candy and that's what made me think about the "before-sweets" hearty fare.  For the Spooktacular Supper theme at I Heart Cooking Club I made a Donna Hay recipe - Chicken Pancetta and Mushroom Stew.

For the mushroom haters who visit me I would recommend skipping this recipe as, in my opinion, it's the mushrooms that make this such a great combo and so hearty.  

Donna Hay's Chicken Pancetta and Mushroom Stew

8 bone-in chicken thighs
all-purpose flour for coating
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 oz pancetta, diced
2 leeks, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
7 oz button mushrooms, halved (I doubled it)
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup cream (I used half-n--half)
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Flour the chicken, shaking off any excess. Place half of the oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat. Brown the chicken; remove and set it aside.

Add the remaining oil and cook the pancetta, leeks, garlic and mushrooms until golden; remove and set aside.
Bring the chicken stock and wine to a simmer in the pan, scraping up anything from the base of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan and cook, covered, for 25 minutes.

Add the pancetta, leek, garlic and mushroom mixture, the cream, parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until reduced and thickened.

Serve on plates or in bowls with potatoes or steamed rice.

Sharing with

Marg at The Intrepid Reader for Weekend Cooking

Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday

I Heart Cooking Clubs


  1. That sounds delicious but I think trick-or-treaters would be too excited to appreciate it before they went out!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    1. Mae, so true. I was always do eager to get out with friends and trick-or-treat!

  2. I will definitely give this a miss which is too bad because I do like the chicken pancetta stew idea! Trick or treating is so different now and while I like all the trunk or treats and stuff it doesn't seem quite the same as the going out in the neighborhood with friends!

    1. Katherine, I just couldn’t think of any substitute for suggestions as mushrooms are an integral part. Also, I agree about trick or treating being so different these days!

  3. We love mushrooms! My mom always made chili con carne on Halloween night. I should continue her tradition and make it tomorrow ... hummm.

    1. BFR - that's a great idea! We had something hearty because mom knew we'd get into the candy early and we needed a good base :-)

  4. Hate mushrooms???Never! This sounds delicious. I need to go to Eataly and get some pancetta this week to make this. I also recently tried spianata from Eataly and think it would be good in this recipe too.
    We had to wear our coats/snowsuits too over our costumes in Montreal, we often had snow for Halloween. And yes we freely wandered the streets although we always avoided the crazy woman's house at the corner!

    1. Jackie, oh no... snowsuits over a costume?! I guess all the kids were in the same boat then! It was so different then to walk the neighborhoods, there was one old neighborhood who gave us hot cider, can’t imagine that flying these days!
      If you like mushrooms you’ll love this dish. It’s hearty!

  5. Tina- I do remember those cold nights of trick-or-treating up north when costumes and dare I say snow suits were worn over costumes and painted and masked faces were the only visible things. I have to say, we were some dedicated trick-or-treaters!

    I love that you cooked with Donna Hay and it is a reminder for me to get back in the kitchen with her one day soon. I am not a mushroom eater, but I do love the flavor they lend to dishes and I do think this looks incredible!

  6. I grew up in Massachusetts and it was rare that we could go out without a coat or jacket for trick or treating, as I recall. As parents, we tried to feed the kids supper before trick or treating started, but I don't think it was ever much! I'm not familiar with Donna Hay, but I love mushrooms!

  7. I'll take the extra mushrooms from the haters! ;-) It looks delicious and so hearty and satisfying. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week.

  8. Mushroom haters? I do know a couple of those but it isn't in this house! This looks really good!


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