1/2 pound prosciutto cotto (cooked ham), coarsely chopped
1/3 pound pancetta, thinly sliced and coarsely chopped
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped plus a few sprigs for roasting
4 large cloves garlic, grated and finely chopped or very thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fennel seed or 1 teaspoon seed and 1 teaspoon pollen
Zest of 1 lemon
1 4- to 5-pound chicken, butterflied/back bone removed
Olive oil, for liberal drizzling
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 lemons, halved
1 bulbs fennel, cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
1 medium onions, cut into wedges
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock or combination of both
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place ham and pancetta in a food processor bowl and pulse into a fine chop. Combine with chopped rosemary, garlic, fennel seed and lemon zest.
Loosen the skin of the chicken all over and stuff the pork mixture in an even layer between the meat and skin. Drizzle chicken liberally with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
Brush a roasting pan with olive oil and arrange the lemons cut-side down. Dress the fennel, onions and potatoes with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and add to the pan with a few additional sprigs of rosemary. Arrange chicken on a rack over vegetables or directly on top of the fennel and potatoes. Roast 30 minutes, add wine and or stock and lower heat to 450°F. Roast 30 minutes more or until juices run clear.
Douse the chicken with roasted lemon juice, carve and serve with fennel, onions and potatoes alongside.
“In the style of porchetta” means to prepare like porchetta—a pork loin wrapped in pork belly with rosemary. Here, I finely chop or process pork and combine it with garlic, rosemary and lemon zest which add a layer of flavor between the skin and meat of a whole chicken. I have my butcher spatchcock my chickens (remove the back bone). Roasting a chicken that is butterflied cuts down on roasting time and in easier to carve.