The art of meeting offline + chicken with pancetta and sage

I am standing alone in my kitchen, my 4-year old daughter playing with legos, trains, crayons or whatever her favorite toy is at that moment. The kitchen is where I feel relaxed, creative, at ease. Cooking + writing are my favorite subjects and when I am doing either, I am most at “home.” These two endeavors are generally solo ones, and I embrace that.

Yet while I enjoy being alone, there are times I want to socialize with other like-minded people. Sometimes I enjoy mingling with other food lovers, to see what they are cooking up in their kitchens. While social media is a fun way to interact with my online friends and feel like there’s some sort of extension of “work,” it’s also wonderful to meet in person. Which is why it’s nice to get invited so frequently to food events. (Yes, one of the perks of my “job.”)

Over a month ago, I attended an event called Cooking With Confidence hosted by Tupperware and featuring chef Marco Canora, who owns a few restaurants here in NYC including Hearth and Terroir Wine Bar. The event took place in the gorgeous Tasting Table Test Kitchen in SoHo. I met some great women like Katie Workman, whose cookbook I’ve been enjoying, as well as other cooks and bloggers.

How nice it was to mingle with others who also love writing + cooking.

Chef Marco Canora explained that at first he was wary of using Tupperware products (as was I). But he fully endorses them and now I do, too. Tupperware’s products have lost that old-fashioned feeling (yes, my mom used to have Tupperware parties; maybe yours did, too?), and they’ve been updated for the modern kitchen.

The Tupperware Whip n Prep: we made whipped cream in this

During the demo he made sofrito (which he uses as a base for many of his dishes) so easily using one of Tupperware’s choppers and chicken using the Chef Series 12″ Griddle Pan, which, much to my surprise, arrived on my doorstep a week later. For dessert we enjoyed fresh fruit and homemade whipped cream that we made at the table with the Tupperware Whip n Prep.

I highly recommend this cookbook!

I wondered what to make in this large round pan, and decided to take a recipe straight out of Marco Canora’s cookbook: Salt to Taste: The keys to confident, delicious cooking.

I made his chicken with pancetta + sage, which was not only super easy (as a mom, “easy” dishes are a hit with me), but incredibly tasty (and makes an impressive dish for dinner guests). The pancetta added flavor and formed a crust on the chicken. I served it with jasmine rice and sautéed asparagus tips.

The dish is a winner and I definitely plan on making it again, and socializing from time to time, too. You never what inspiration will come your way when you get out of your usual routine.

Chicken with Pancetta + Sage

Courtesy of Chef Marco Canora
Start this recipe a day ahead.

About 1/2 pound of pancetta, thinly sliced + uncoiled
24 small sage leaves
Kosher salt + freshly ground pepper
4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts(about 7 ounces each)
Extra virgin olive oil

Make the dish
Lay 3-4 piece of pancetta on a clean work surface so that they overlap and form a wide enough sheet to completely enclose a chicken breast. Arrange 3 sage leaves across the sheet of pancetta. Salt + pepper one of the chicken breasts. Place the breast on the sage leaves and arrange 3 more on tip. Fold the pancetta around the breast, then wrap the breast in plastic, twisting the ends to form a tight, compact log. Repeat with the remaining breasts, then chill overnight.

About 30 minutes before you want to eat, remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Heat a large enough skillet to hold the breasts in a room single layer over high heat. When the pan is hot, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Take the chicken out of the plastic and arrange the chicken in the pan so the seam, the loose edge of the folded pancetta, is on the bottom and cooks first. When the chicken sizzles, lower the heat to medium. Allow the pancetta to brown, about 2 minutes, then turn each breast a quarter, gradually browning the meat on all sides for a total of about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 3 minutes in the pan. Flip over and let rest for another 3 minutes. Slice in thick disks and serve with your favorite side dishes.

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