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Bacon serves as the base for this quick-cooking ragu that calls for a rotisserie chicken and fragrant fennel and thyme.


  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 slices meaty bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 ¼  cups)
  • 1 bulb fennel, finely chopped (about 1 ½ cups), plus ½ cup fronds, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup whole milk or half-and-half
  • 1 pound pappardelle
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ¼ cup fresh dill sprigs, chopped


Serves: 4


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Pull the meat from the chicken (reserve the skin and bones for stock). Using your fingers or 2  forks, finely shred the meat.

In a large skillet, heat the oil, three turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat begins to render, 2  to 3  minutes. Add the onion, fennel bulb, thyme, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 10  minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 2  minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring often, until absorbed, about 1  minute. Add the chicken stock and milk. Simmer the sauce, stirring often, until reduced slightly, 2  to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, salt the boiling water. Add the pasta, and cook to 1  minute less than package directions. Reserve 1  cup of the starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta.

Add the pasta, cooking water, and cheese to the sauce; season. Toss until coated, 1  to 2  minutes. Serve in shallow bowls. Top with the dill and fennel fronds.