cook like jeff jarrett: roast chicken with spring asparagus, peas and pancetta hash

Here’s one simple spring dish any home cook can replicate, thanks to chef Jeff Jarrett, who recently opened Palate, a seasonal American restaurant in Strongsville. He is also one of the founding chefs of the popular monthly dinner events, Dinner in the Dark, which is an ideal way to do good, and eat good.


Roast Chicken with Spring Asparagus, Pea, and Pancetta Hash

  • 1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
  • ½  small yellow onion, chopped small1 T. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments with a good slicer
  • ¼ pound fresh peas, shelled
  • Fresh thyme, 3-4 sprigs, leaves removed
  • Fresh basil, 2-3 leaves, torn
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a 12-inch cast iron frying pan over medium heat. Fry the pancetta, turning it frequently so that it browns and crisps on all sides; this takes about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Leave the heat on and the renderings in the pan. (With a well-seasoned cast iron, this should be all the fat you need to cook the remainder of the hash.) If you’re not using a cast iron, you might need to add a tablespoon or so of oil.

Add the potatoes and let sit. Use this time to season them well with salt and pepper. Add the fresh thyme. Once they’ve become a little brown underneath, flip them, and let cook again for 4-5 minutes.

When the potatoes are about three-fourths as crisped and brown as you’d like them (this takes about 15 minutes), add the onion and garlic. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and peas. Cover the pan and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until crisply cooked. Remove the lid, return the pancetta to the pan for another minute, to reheat. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Add the fresh torn basil leaves, toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Roasted Chicken

  • One 3-4 pound bird
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • ½ small onion, cut into chunks
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • Oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Under cold running water, rinse the bird inside and out and pat dry. Place on a roasted rack or cookie tray. Oil the outside of the bird and then season with salt and pepper. Season the inside cavity with salt and pepper and place the lemon halves, onion, garlic, and thyme inside. Place in the oven for approximately 50 minutes, or until the outside is golden brown and the juices run clear. Place on a clean cutting board and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

This recipe was sponsored by Heinen’s. When making this dish at home, Laurie, the wine consultant for the  Avon store, suggests Grunüer Veltliner (nicknamed GruVe) with this recipe.  She says this dry, medium bodied Austrian grape is perfect with chicken as well as hard-to-pair peas and asparagus.  It has acidity, minerality and is a wonderful spring wine.



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