Ragu di pollo arrosto

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Recipe by Gravity84

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A great, hearty recipe that can be made from either a whole raw chicken or from leftover roast chicken.


  • 1 whole chicken, 4 leg quarters, or leftover roasted chicken
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 4 leaves sage
  • 3/4 cup of cubed pancetta or bacon
  • 1/2 bottle dry white wine
  • 1 can whole san marzano tomatoes
  • chile flakes to taste
  • salt and pepper


If using leftover or store bought roast chicken, skip to next section

Whole Raw Chicken stuff[edit]

Since the end result is a deboned chickenmeat in, basically, a stew-like thing, it's not really necessary to roast a chicken to perfection. Because of this, we can employ some cut corners. Spatchcock the chicken by cutting out the back bone with shears and removing the wish bone and keel bone. This will allow us to cut the cooking time significantly. Place the chicken along with the back, neck, keel bone, heart, and gizzard (save the liver for something else like Chicken Liver Mousse). Salt lightly and cook in an oven at 400F until probe thermometer reads 155F in the thickest part of the bird. We can pull a bit lower in temp because we're going to be cooking the bird a hell of a lot more (honestly you can pull at any temperature provided you have built a good amount of fond in the bottom of the roasting pan and the chicken is a good deep brown, all that brownness is all we're really interested in in this stage). Remove the bird from the pan and let it cool until cool enough to handle then pick off all the meat. Add some water to the pan and use a whisk or spatula to loosen the fond off. Reserve this fond.


Pick off all the meat from your cooled roast chicken. Slice large chunks of meat against the grain such that the grains form 1 cm lengths (remember it will break down into these grains and we want them to be manageable). Mince the skin, heart, and gizzards as fine as you can. If using a store bought roast chicken, be sure to reserve all the drippings in the container. Reserve the picked meat, gizzards, and heart, and set in the fridge for later. Put the picked bones, roasted neck bones, back bones, and keel bone in a pressure cooker with the thyme, sage, and bay leaf and cover with water. Bring to pressure and cook for 1 hour. We are going to undergo a lot of reduction later, so only use as much water as you need. Strain the rich stock and return it to a pot and bring to a rolling boil. Allow this to reduce while you (be sure to keep an eye on this and kill the heat if it gets too reduced)....

Fry the pancetta/bacon in a large pot or enamel dutch oven until crisp. Remove and reserve the cured pork keeping the fat in the pan. Lower heat and wweat the onion for 15 min in the pork fat with a pinch of salt. Add the carrot, celery, and chile flakes. Sweat for another 5 min. Add the garlic and the wine and turn heat up to high. Crush the tomatoes so that there are no large chunks but not so much that there is still a bit of texture in the tomato sauce. Add them to the pot along with the cured pork, the reserved chicken meat, and the stock. Bring to a boil and stir frequently as the ragu reduces to the consistency of pulled pork. Cover and simmer for a total of at least one hour from the start of the reduction period. Taste for salt.


Serve with a nice wide pasta, like pappardelle or with a good short pasta that can handle chunks well, like orecchiette. To finish, place some ragu in a skillet. Cook pasta to just shy of al dente (should still be a touch raw). Add the pasta and some of the pasta cooking water to the skillet. Cook until the water evaporates out and the sauce is the right texture. Serve with some fresh grated hard cheese like Parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino romano.

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