Makeshift Brunch at Home

Have you ever came home from work on a Friday and feel compelled to make brunch in the morning? Back in late March, that was exactly what happened. Well, something like that. I was cleaning up for the week in the kitchen and saw some leftover items, specifically reduced chicken stock, parsley, and pancetta. I thought these ingredients would make for a delicious potato dish. My ability to find brunch inspiration knows no bounds. This is my best attempt at remembering the recipe I created that day.

Italian Inspired Brunch Potatoes (About 3 Servings)


  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced crosswise (1/4 inch thick)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 cups chicken stock reduced to 1 cup**
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • Eggs (as desired per person)
  • Paprika (optional, for garnish on eggs)

**This is really only going to work with unseasoned homemade chicken stock. If you do this with store bought stock, the result will be overpoweringly salty. You could try low sodium chicken stock from the store, but I would recommend homemade if possible. I do understand making stock is a task. To make the stock reduction, simply bring to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce heat slightly to achieve a moderate simmer and allow stock to reduce until it measures one cup. You can use right away or cool down to room temperature and store in the fridge for up to a week.

In a large sauté pan, melt butter or heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Watch the heat and lower if necessary to prevent the onions from browning.

When onions are soft, add the potatoes to the pan and season with salt and pepper. For the first few minutes, do not disturb the potatoes to allow them to develop some color. Then, stir occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Use a knife or cake tester to check for doneness.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, render the pancetta over medium high heat until slightly brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the reduced chicken stock and swirl the pan to emulsify with the rendered pancetta fat. Simmer gently for 5 minutes or so, until sauce reaches your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before time to serve, stir in the chopped parsley.

To serve, divide potatoes and onions among plates and spoon the pancetta sauce over top. These potatoes pair great with eggs. Prepare them however you like them best. I like sunny-side up fried eggs sprinkled with salt and paprika at the end of cooking.

For dessert, I made an olive oil cake by Samantha Seneviratne and topped it with citrus supremes dressed with mint, sugar, and a splash of lemon juice. The citrus I used here included one each of: cara cara orange, blood orange, navel orange, ruby red grapefruit.

This cake was incredibly tender and moist. There is a lightness in texture that you typically don’t see in butter cakes, so the use of olive oil here was noticeable. Using high quality olive oil will give the best flavor to this cake. I liked thoroughly enjoyed this with the citrus supremes, but it may have also been good if I made a citrus zest scented whipped cream. Either way, this cake is perfect for brunch.