Latest/best way to get hardwire ethernet & MQTT

I'm looking for an inexpensive way to send data via MQTT to a broker using hardwired ethernet. It's been a while since I've used ethernet, and it seems like there's more options than there were a couple years ago. It used to be this solution would be an Arduino w/ ethernet shield (Wiznet W5100), but the W5100 isn't really current anymore. But I see other people using different hardware, and I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for ethernet and MQTT?

ENC28J60 w/ UIPEthernet & pubsubclient

Can the ESP8266 be used as the microcontroller for either of the options above? Or would I have to use an Arduno Uno/pro mini?