Chicken Canzanese…Italian Comfort Food!

It’s freezing outside!

Actually the temperature is 21º, but who’s counting?  If it’s below 75º, I’m cold, so suffice it to say, I’m dressed like I should be living in Alaska!

I’m definitely ready for some warmer weather, but for now I guess I’ll just hunker down and wait this cold spell out.  If nothing else, it gives me a chance to cook some great cold-weather dishes I’ve been wanting to try.  This italian chicken dish really hit the spot tonight!

Chicken Canzanese-Italian Comfort Food

It’s called Chicken Canzanese (can za nay zay), and I happened to see it prepared on the TV show “America’s Test Kitchen“.  What I love about that show is they do all the testing and experimenting beforehand, so what you get is the final “best of the best” dish.

This dish was delicious!

After the chicken is browned, it’s braised in the oven in a wonderful herbed sauce.  Since the top of the chicken isn’t submerged in liquid, it comes out with a beautiful crispy skin.  Next time, I think I’ll serve it over mashed potatoes or maybe polenta to soak up that wonderful sauce.  YUM!

Chicken Canzanese

America’s Test Kitchen

Printable Recipe


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ounces prosciutto (1/4 inch thick), cut into 1/4 -inch cubes
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, sliced thin lengthwise
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat and skin
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 (4-inch) sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and minced fine (about 1/2 teaspoon), stem reserved
  • 12 whole fresh sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 325º, and adjust rack to lower-middle position.  Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed ovensafe skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add prosciutto and cook, stirring frequently, until just starting to brown, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic slices and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Transfer garlic and prosciutto to small bowl and set aside.  Do not rinse pan.

Increase heat to medium-high; add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and heat until just smoking.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with ground black pepper.  Add chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving until well browned, 5-8 minutes.  Using tongs, turn chicken and brown on second side, about 5 minutes longer.  Transfer chicken to large plate.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons fat from pan.  Sprinkle flour over fat and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Slowly add wine and broth; bring to simmer, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits.  Cook until liquid is slightly reduced, 3 minutes.  Stir in cloves, rosemary stem, sage leaves, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and reserved prosciutto and garlic.  Nestle chicken into liquid, skin side up (skin should be above surface of liquid), and bake, uncovered, until meat offers no resistance when poked with fork but is not falling off bones, about 1 hour 15 minutes.  (Check chicken after 15 minutes; broth should be barely bubbling.  If bubbling vigorously, reduce oven temperature to 300º.)

Using tongs, transfer chicken to serving platter and tent with foil.  Remove and discard sage leaves, rosemary stem, cloves, and bay leaves.  Place skillet over high heat and bring sauce to boil. Cook until sauce is reduced to 1 1/4 cups, 2-5 minutes.  Off heat, stir in minced rosemary, lemon juice and butter.   Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour sauce around chicken and serve.

Liz’s Notes:

  1. Don’t be tempted to substitute breasts for the thighs…they will turn out too dry!
  2. I prefer to use a stainless skillet that does NOT have a non-stick surface coating) for this dish.  This skillet will brown the chicken well enough to form “fond”, the crispy bits remaining in the pan that form the basis for the sauce.  Non-stick skillets do not produce this fond.
  3. The crispy skin is a MUST for this dish.  Be sure and pat chicken dry with paper towels before adding to your skillet.  If there is any moisture on the chicken, it will “steam” rather than “brown”.  After using a paper towel, I like to let my chicken “air dry” for another 15 minutes or so.
  4. As tempted as you might be to flip the chicken when browning, set a timer and DON’T touch it for at least 6-7 minutes.  When it’s nice and brown, the meat will release from the skillet without sticking.  If you try and turn it too soon, you’ll leave half your chicken stuck to the pan.

3 Responses

  1. This is a favorite dish. I use pancetta as I always have it in the freezer.

  2. Sounds yummy, but it ois so cold only 2 degrees here this morning. Set new records here in El Paso.

    All my snow is gone. Still a lot around the city but gone at my house.

    Stay warm, you can come cook for me!

  3. This one is a real “keeper.” Will & I loved it!

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