Friday, September 11, 2009

Braised Mediterranean Chicken with Polenta

As I preached about in my Blogiversary post, I think it’s important to step outside of your comfort zone in the kitchen. I love trying new things. One thing I’ve never cooked, and only ate in restaurants a few times, is polenta. When flipping through my newest issue of Martha Stewart Everyday Food the very first recipe was this one. I immediately folded the corner over because I saw it included cherry tomatoes and zucchini. It just so happened I had zucchini in my CSA share, and my friend Beth brought me a whole pint of cherry tomatoes from her sister’s garden in KY (a great state by the way). As I finished reading the recipe, I realized I actually had every single ingredient in my kitchen.

This meal came together in under an hour, and was very easy, as are most of the recipes in Everyday Food. And the flavors really balanced and complimented each other just perfectly. I was afraid this might be too heavy of a meal, but it was actually hearty and filling, without weighing you down. It was a great way to take advantage of this seasonal produce. And, it gave me another use for my cornmeal, because I don’t batter and fry with it too often! I can’t find this recipe on the website, so that’s why I can’t link to it.

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Braised Mediterranean Chicken with Polenta


Martha Stewart Everyday Food - Sept 2009

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
8 chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
course salt and ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved if large
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions:

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in two batches, cook chicken until browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate. Pour off all but 1 Tablespoon fat and return pot to heat.

Add garlic, tomatoes, and oregano; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and cook, scraping up browned bits, until almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Add broth; return chicken, skin side up, to pot. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes. (*At this point begin the polenta.) Add zucchini to chicken; season with salt and pepper. Cover; simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.

To prepare polenta: In a large saucepan, combine 4 1/2 cups water, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Whisking constantly, slowly add cornmeal. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking frequently, until polenta has thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Whisk in butter. Serve chicken and vegetables over polenta.

Serves 4; Per Serving: 556 calories; 30.1g fat (9.9g sat fat); 36.9g protein; 32.8g carb; 3.6g fiber

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5 Responses to “Braised Mediterranean Chicken with Polenta”

  1. 1
    Joelen — September 11, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

    This looks delicious and I love Mediterranean flavors! I wouldn't have thought to serve the chicken with polenta so I'll have to try this next time!

  2. 2
    Shauna — September 11, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

    That sounds absolutely delicious! I am not sure how I missed that recipe while reading my last issue. I am looking forward to our CSA starting up in a few weeks, so we will have great fresh veggies on hand all of the time too.

  3. 3
    Beth — September 13, 2009 @ 8:31 pm

    Funny, I just made polenta for the first time last week too. Great minds think alike 😉 yours looks yummy- I'll have to give it a try!

  4. 4
    chai latte loving mommy — September 14, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

    i was browsing blogs and ran across you today and must have been fate as i was cooking polenta for dinner and wondering what to make with it. going to add sausage and mushrooms too but this looks delicious.

  5. 5
    The Food Hunter — September 17, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

    This looks delicious. Great blog!

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