Chicken involtino, artichokes, polenta and caponata

Chicken involtino, artichokes, polenta and caponata

My Italian Kitchen
Chris Middleton

This was my top 50 dish that got me into MasterChef. I decided to cook this as it showcased my heritage: the polenta is a northern dish, where my Nonno comes from; the caponata is a southern dish, where my Nonna comes from; and the rolled chicken is for my mum, who was first inspired by a street stall selling polenta with stuffed rolled turkey in Tuscany when we lived there. This is a dish dedicated to my beautiful family.


Quantity Ingredient

Chicken involtino

Quantity Ingredient
4 globe artichokes
4 x 350g chicken leg quarters, deboned and skin removed
6 rosemary sprigs, finely chopped
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
50g taleggio cheese, grated
16 thin slices pancetta, (about 150 g)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 bay leaves
basil leaves, to garnish


Quantity Ingredient
75g polenta
60ml milk, warmed
50g parmigiano reggiano, grated
25g salted butter
Caponata, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil over a high heat. Clean the artichokes and cut the hearts into quarters, discarding the chokes. Add the artichoke hearts to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove them from the pan and set aside in a bowl of cold water to stop further cooking.
  3. Lay the chicken out flat, flattening each thigh slightly so each piece of chicken is all one thickness. This will ensure equal cooking time. Sprinkle each piece of chicken with 1 teaspoon each of the rosemary and sage, reserving the remaining herbs. Scatter over the Taleggio cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked artichoke hearts and roll up each piece of chicken. Wrap each chicken roll with 4 slices of pancetta. Tie securely with cooking string.
  4. Add the olive oil to an ovenproof frying pan and place over a high heat. Add the rolled-up chicken and fry until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining rosemary and sage, the garlic and bay leaves, and transfer to the oven. Cook for about 25–30 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest.
  5. To make the polenta, put it in a small saucepan with 250 ml of water over a medium heat. Stir until combined, then add 250 ml of boiling water. Stir every few minutes until the polenta has absorbed all the water and the polenta is soft, about 30 minutes. Add the milk, Parmigiano and butter, and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
  6. Meanwhile, make the caponata and set aside.
  7. Remove the string from the chicken pieces and slice the chicken. To serve, spread a large spoonful of polenta over each plate, spoon on some caponata sauce and top with the sliced chicken. Garnish with some basil leaves.
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