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Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Garlic & Pancetta

March 27, 2019

The most incredible Creamy Tuscan Chicken that’s actually made without cream! The sauce is rich, smooth and delicious, flavoured with garlic, pancetta and white wine. Serve with comforting mashed potatoes and you’re in comfort food heaven!

An overhead shot of creamy Tuscan chicken in a blue bowl with mashed potatoes and glasses of white wine

I get so excited to eat this every.single.time! It’s just incredible BUT it’s not like your regular Creamy Tuscan Chicken because well, there’s no heavy cream involved. This Tuscan Chicken is the real deal and I just know that you’re going to love it just as much as me.

Here’s what you’re gonna get with this recipe…

Juicy and tender chicken thighs with an extra crispy skin served with a rich and velvety creamy sauce made with white wine, fragrant fresh herbs (oregano & thyme), whole garlic cloves and smoky pancetta. 

Honestly, this dish is SO comforting and delicious but it’s made with wholesome ingredients so there ain’t nothing to be feeling guilty about here.

How Do You Make a Creamy Sauce Without Cream?

The secret ingredient in this recipe is a culinary technique that’s not as commonly known to the everyday home cook and it so should be. What is it you say? Egg yolks! 

Don’t worry the sauce doesn’t have an eggy taste in the slightest it just makes it extra rich and delicious. As the egg yolk cooks it thicken the sauce until it’s velvety smooth and perfectly creamy.

How to Make Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Garlic and Pancetta – Step By Step

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet pan on a medium heat, add the chicken thighs skin side down and fry until the skin is browned and crispy. Turn the chicken around and cook on the other side for around 8 minutes again. Remove the chicken and set aside (photos 1 & 2).

Add the pancetta to the same pan and fry until starting to crisp up slightly. Add the whole garlic cloves and fry for another minute, stirring occasionally (photos 3 & 4).

Step by step photos for making creamy Tuscan chicken

Add the chicken back to the pan skin side up and add the white wine with the fresh thyme and oregano. Reduce the wine by half (photo 5).

Add the chicken stock and reduce until only ⅓ of the liquid remains. Remove the chicken from the pan again and set aside. At this point you can crisp the chicken up under a broiler (oven grill) if you prefer (photos 6 & 7).

Step by step photos for making creamy tuscan chicken without cream

Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and make sure it’s not boiling. In a small ramekin, add the lemon juice and 1 large egg yolk, whisk to combine. Add the egg mixture to the sauce and whisk continuously until the sauce has thickened and turned a pale yellow colour (around 3 minutes) (photos 8- 11).

Add the chicken back to the pan to heat through, garnish with fresh chives and serve (photo 12).

What to Serve it With

I love nothing more than a big mountain of mashed potatoes to mop up all the delicious sauce, it just goes so well but you could also serve this creamy Tuscan chicken with polenta, roast potatoes, grilled veggies, roasted asparagus, broccoli or even just a fresh salad. The list is endless and the choice is yours!

An overhead shot of creamy Tuscan chicken with mashed potatoes in a blue bowl

Top Tips for Making Creamy Tuscan Chicken

  • Use free-range chicken for best results and flavour. I always use free-range because the quality of the meat is 100x better, it’s more expensive but I just eat less of it on a weekly basis.
  • I use 6-8 thighs to serve 4 as they often vary in size.
  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with kitchen paper to reduce the moisture before frying (helps create an extra crispy skin)
  • Make sure to turn the heat to the absolute lowest heat or off completely and make sure the sauce isn’t boiling before adding the egg yolks. If the pan is too hot they can curdle.
  • Be careful with the salt, you won’t need much! The chicken stock and pancetta provide a lot of seasoning so I recommend lightly sprinkling the chicken skin with a little salt before frying and that’s it. Taste it before serving to see if it needs any more.
  • I love the fresh taste of oregano and thyme they’re so fragrant and full of flavor but you can also use fresh rosemary or tarragon which will work well. A little sprinkling of dried oregano will work too just not too much.
  • Leftovers: store the chicken and sauce separately as the sauce will thicken and a skin will form. The chicken can be stored in the fridge for around 2 days and eaten cold in a salad or whatever you like or reheated in a hot oven (350F/180C) until piping hot all the way through. The sauce can also be stored in the fridge for about 2 days a reheated, simply add it to a small saucepan with a splash of water to loosen it (around 1-2 tbsp) and heat on low until hot.
  • You can also freeze the chicken in suitable containers.

A side shot of creamy Tuscan chicken in a blue bowl with mashed potatoes

More Easy Chicken Recipes You Might Like:

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Watch How to Make it

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!
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5 from 5 votes

Creamy Tuscan Chicken with Garlic and Pancetta

*See step by step photos & video above* The most incredible Creamy Tuscan Chicken that's actually made without cream! The sauce is rich, smooth and delicious, flavoured with garlic, pancetta and white wine. Serve with comforting mashed potatoes and you're in comfort food heaven!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 605
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 6-8 Chicken thighs* see notes
  • 4.5 oz smoked pancetta cubed (130g)
  • 6 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Egg yolk large
  • 2 cups Chicken stock (500ml)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp Fresh thyme
  • ½ cup White wine (125ml)
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chives freshly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet pan on a medium heat, lightly season the chicken skin with a little salt. Add the chicken thighs skin side down and fry until the skin is browned and crispy (around 8-10 minutes). Turn the chicken around and cook on the other side for around 8 minutes again. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  • Add the pancetta (4.5 oz / 130g) to the same pan and fry until starting to crisp up slightly (3-4 minutes). Add the whole garlic cloves (6 large) and fry for another minute, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan skin side up and add the white wine (1/2 cup / 125ml) with the fresh thyme and oregano (1 tbsp of each). Reduce the wine by half (around 4-5 minutes).
  • Add the chicken stock and simmer to reduce until only ⅓ of the liquid remains (about 40 minutes). Remove the chicken from the pan again and set aside. At this point you can crisp the chicken up under a broiler (oven grill) if you prefer.
  • Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and make sure it’s not boiling. In a small ramekin, add the lemon juice (1 tsp) and 1 large egg yolk, whisk to combine. Add the egg mixture to the sauce and whisk continuously until the sauce has thickened and turned a pale yellow colour (around 3 minutes).
  • Add the chicken back to the pan to heat through, garnish with chives and serve. See notes for serving suggestions.

Notes

  • Use free-range chicken for best results and flavour. I always use free-range because the quality of the meat is 100x better, it's more expensive but I just eat less of it on a weekly basis.
  • I use 6-8 thighs to serve 4 as they often vary in size.
  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with kitchen paper to reduce the moisture before frying (helps create an extra crispy skin)
  • Make sure to turn the heat to the absolute lowest heat or off completely and make sure the sauce isn't boiling before adding the egg yolks. If the pan is too hot they can curdle.
  • Be careful with the salt, you won't need much! The chicken stock and pancetta provide a lot of seasoning so I recommend lightly sprinkling the chicken skin with a little salt before frying and that's it. Taste it before serving to see if it needs any more.
  • I love the fresh taste of oregano and thyme they're so fragrant and full of flavor but you can also use fresh rosemary or tarragon which will work well. A little sprinkling of dried oregano will work too just not too much.
  • Leftovers: store the chicken and sauce separately as the sauce will thicken and a skin will form. The chicken can be stored in the fridge for around 2 days and eaten cold in a salad or whatever you like or reheated in a hot oven (350F/180C) until piping hot all the way through. The sauce can also be stored in the fridge for about 2 days a reheated, simply add it to a small saucepan with a splash of water to loosen it (around 1-2 tbsp) and heat on low until hot.
  • You can also freeze the chicken in suitable containers.

What to Serve it With

I love nothing more than a big mountain of mashed potatoes to mop up all the delicious sauce, it just goes so well but you could also serve this creamy Tuscan chicken with polenta, roast potatoes, grilled veggies, roasted asparagus, broccoli or even just a fresh salad. The list is endless and the choice is yours!

Nutrition

Calories: 605kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 235mg | Sodium: 382mg | Potassium: 577mg | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 4.7mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2.6mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan oven
  • Read more about how the nutritional information is calculated here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Kelly Anthony
    March 28, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    Wow this creamy tuscan chicken looks amazing. Your photos really highlight this dish. Excited to cook this for my family.

  • Reply
    Mary Bostow
    March 28, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    I need chicken in my life (and this recipe specifically!) This looks delicious! I love creamy chicken recipes!

  • Reply
    Andrea Metlika
    March 28, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Oh my goodness, this looks and sounds amazing!!

  • Reply
    Deepika
    March 28, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    This is one delicious recipe. I love how you have given the reader the details of storing the leftovers. Little details like these help a lot. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Pam
    March 28, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Oh my gosh, this looks amazing! I love the color on the chicken and your secret to getting a creamy sauce without cream! Your step by step photos and video make this almost like a cooking class!

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