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Pancetta-wrapped barbecue chicken

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for pancetta-wrapped barbecue chicken.

By Emma Knowles
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking plus cooling, resting
  • Serves 4
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Pancetta-wrapped barbecue chicken
This shows the versatility of barbecues. If you don't have a kettle barbecue, just cover the chicken with a metal mixing bowl, ensuring the bowl doesn't touch the bird.


  • 14 thin slices mild pancetta
  • 1 chicken (about 1.8kg)
  • 1 orange and 1 lemon, thickly sliced (grate rind first for the stuffing)
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • For drizzling: olive oil
  • 3 baby cos lettuce, hearts halved, outer leaves coarsely torn
  • 8 spring onions, trimmed and halved
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) mint
Thyme, hazelnut and pistachio stuffing
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 80 gm coarse fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 20 gm coarsely chopped pistachios
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped thyme
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon and 1 orange


  • 1
    For thyme, hazelnut and pistachio stuffing, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until pale golden and tender (6-8 minutes). Tip into a bowl, stir in remaining ingredients, season to taste and set aside to cool, then stuff into chicken.
  • 2
    Heat a kettle barbecue to medium-high heat. Overlap pancetta slices across chicken breasts, truss legs with kitchen string, then place chicken on the citrus slices spread in the base of a roasting pan lined. Add garlic to pan, drizzle chicken with a little oil and season to taste, then place in barbecue, close the lid and roast, basting occasionally with pan juices, until cooked through and juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer (45-50 minutes). Remove from tray and set aside to rest.
  • 3
    While the chicken is resting, drizzle lettuce hearts and spring onions with a little olive oil and barbecue cut-sides down until slightly charred (4-5 minutes), then transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • 4
    Discard citrus slices from roasting pan, squeeze garlic cloves into pan juices and mash with a fork. Add oil, vinegar and mustard and season to taste. Drizzle a little of the pan juices over lettuce and spring onions, add torn lettuce leaves and mint, season to taste and toss to combine. Serve alongside pancetta-wrapped chicken with extra pan juices to spoon over.


Drink Suggestion: Something rich but dry such as an orange (skin-contact white) wine. Drink suggestion by Max Allen