Sunday, March 3, 2013

Chicken and Polenta

I have a confession - I sometimes forget about Polenta. Then I make it and wonder why I haven't made it in such a long time.  I get so wrapped up in my rice and quinoa side dishes that I forget there is a whole other world of sides out there.

Polenta is super easy to make and can be used in so many ways - hot and creamy is my favorite, but if you let it cool and get nice and thick, then cut it in big chunks and throw it on the grill, oh so good I can feel the summer heat thinking about it.

I got back on a polenta kick earlier this week with a goat cheese polenta served with orange chicken.  The kids weren't fans of the goat cheese polenta - they like it when I keep it simple with just a little Parmesan - but the rest of the meal was a big hit.

Orange Chicken (Printer Ready)
4-5 boneless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp. Poultry Seasoning (see below)
½ cup marmalade
½ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. Cointreau (or orange juice)
1 Tbsp. brown sugar

Trim fat from chicken breasts and lightly pound.  Generously season both sides with seasoning mix.  Place large saute pan over medium high heat, drizzle pan with olive oil to coat.  When pan is hot add chicken, reduce temperature to medium low.  Cook until brown, then flip.  While chicken is browning mix marmalade, vinegar, cointreau and brown sugar together in small bowl.  Once both sides of the chicken are brown pour sauce over chicken cover pan and let simmer at medium low heat until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened.  Total cook time will be 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken.  
Serve sauce and chicken with goat cheese polenta.  

Poultry Seasoning Mix
2 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp. dried sage
2 Tbsp.  dried thyme
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried marjoram
1 Tbsp. celery salt
1 Tbsp. ground garlic
1 Tbsp. ground pepper

Combine all ingredients, mix well.  Store in a small airtight container.  

Goat Cheese Polenta (printer ready)
1 quart chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
3 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
4 oz. goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large oven safe saucepan bring broth to a boil.  Whisking continuously gradually add the cornmeal.  Once all the cornmeal has be added cover and place in oven.  Cook for 40 minutes stirring every ten minutes, this will prevent lumps.  Once the mixture is creamy remove from oven, add the butter and salt and pepper to taste.  Slowly begin adding the goat cheese stirring continuously while adding.   

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