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Bacon, Fennel & Chicken Ragu

Bacon, Fennel & Chicken Ragu


  • 1 rotisserie chicken

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil

  • 6 slices meaty bacon, chopped

  • 1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)

  • 1 bulb fennel, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups), plus 1/2 cup fronds, chopped

  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, 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 lb. pappardelle

  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 2 oz.)

  • ¼ cup fresh dill sprigs, chopped


Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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 stock and milk. Simmer the sauce, stirring often, until reduced slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta.

Step 5

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