Finally, I am back!! As you may recall I wrote a piece a few months ago talking about my broken brain. I took a few steps back to fix it and I feel much better now! I was feeling pretty wiped out and wasn’t even really cooking much and that turned into some strange pressure I put on myself to post stuff here and the last thing I wanted to do was start to resent (slightly different from re-sent but not really) writing here. But enough of the woah is Phatman talk. Let’s get down to the serious business; breasts! I’ll give you all a moment to make your own dirty jokes you filthy animals….ok, now, hey, my eyes are up here, bro. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: chicken breasts bore me. Of all the cuts of chicken that are crammable it is easily my least favorite to cram into my face. So what kind of imbecile would say they aren’t crazy for chicken breasts and then write an article about them? This imbecile! Look, when I cook a whole chicken I am obviously going to eat some breast meat (seriously, stop giggling every time I say it) and my kids like that cut best. I find it has the least flavor and is the most prone to dryness at the slightest hint of overcooking. Of all of the problems in the world I think it is fair to say that overcooked breasts is the absolute worst. If I want happy kids I gotta cook what they’re gonna eat. Luckily, it’s versatile and takes on any flavor you add to it really well. This one here is my take on a Jamie Oliver recipe that is obscenely simple and works great for a weekday meal, well except maybe Tuesdays, this doesn’t really feel like a Tuesday meal and I think you’ll agree once you read through this. Although it’s simple it’s also sexy enough to serve to guests that you either moderately like or like pretty good. It tastes too good to serve to guests you aren’t crazy about. Blah, blah, blah, I go away for a few months and come back and can’t just get to the damn recipe already! Fine, Here. Cook this: Pancetta Wrapped Chicken Breasts 2 Chicken Breasts (still on the bone*snicker*, skin removed *no snicker*) 8 to 10 Slice of Pancetta 1 Medium to large leek 1/2 Cup white wine Juice of 1/2 a freshly squoze lemon A few sprigs of fresh thyme (what thyme is it? It’s fresh thyme!) Salt and pepper to taste Olive oil I actually managed to score two breasts still on the bone and with the skin already removed at the grocery store. I don’t usually find them like that. I tend to find them either boneless and skinless or bone in (oh boy) and skin on. Anyhow, feel free to use the ones with no bone (get over it) if that’s what you find but the juices from the marrow oozing out as it cooks add flavor. Removing the skin is really easy too. In this case because I am covering my breasts in pancetta there is really no need to keep the skin on. So now get out one of those roasting dishy things and preheat your oven to 400f. Smooth sailing so far. Now, using the sharp edge of a chef’s knife slice the leek into about 1/2 inch slices (discard the dark green top-compost it damn it!) and run them under water in a strainer to make sure they are thoroughly washed. Leek tend to get all kind of gritty sand within its layers and you’ll want all of that out. Lay the leek down in the roasting pan and add the white wine and lemon juice. I like to use a bit more wine than what I listed so you can really taste it in the chicken but that’s a personal choice. Season the leeks a little and sprinkle in the leaves from 2 or 3 sprigs of thyme. As I was making this I realized that I forgot to plant thyme in my garden this year damn it all to hell! Too late now. It’s not like I can go in and just plant more herbs whenever I want. Ya, I’m into botany. So what? Still manly. Sometimes I even burp when I plant stuff. Funny story which is totally true about how I got into botany…when I first met my girlfriend of what now seems like 48 amazing years she told me she was into botany. I was like, oh cool! I’ve never dated a girl that was into that and I’ve been dying to try it! Fast-forward to a month later in what quickly becomes an awkward moment in the bedroom as she tells me “Ummm, that’s not botany.” We laugh about it now whenever we plant our garden. And now that you know way too much about me lay your breasts on the bed of leeks (Even I struggle here to not make sick jokes. I remain dignified for you, the Phatsoes) and layer the pancetta over them (lay your–layer..can you believe this genius stuff is free?) so all of the breast meat is covered. Drizzle some olive oil on there and season the meat with some pepper. I wouldn’t add more salt to it since the cured pancetta will be salty enough. Toss on a few more sprigs of thyme and pop that stuff in the oven. That total prep time should take like 5 minutes. You can’t beat that for quickness. Keep it in the oven for about 30 to 35 minutes but heaven forbid, don’t just take my word for it. Stick a meat thermometer in there to confirm or poke it to make sure the juice runs clear or make little incision in there to make sure it’s cooked through. The beauty of this dish is that even if you overcook it a little the fat dripping from the pancetta will stop it from drying out so no excuse to undercook this. Last time I served undercooked chicken to my kids they were all like “Papa, there’s some pink. Papa, I feel weird. Papa, I can’t stop barfing. Papa, how long am I going to be in the hospital?” I don’t need to tell you how annoying that can be so just make sure it’s cooked through. We all destroyed this dish and wow, the combo of leek and pancetta with some wine in there was addictive. I wanted to include a great shot of my kids eating this but I know some caveman out on the internets will be all angry with another picture of kids breastfeeding so I left it out. I see tons of tweakablity to this dish too. Maybe next time I’ll rub some dijon on my breasts before putting the pancetta on, I’ll do that to the chicken too. ZANG! This dish is screaming out for some garlic too. Well, that’s it folks. Super simple, elegant tasting and fancier than the work you put in. Make this. I gotta go now though to let me girlfriend know I used the botany story that she told me I was a moron for even thinking about writing. Yay! Stay phat.