Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore with Crispy Polenta

A Close-up!

From Above

Dinner tonight was DELICIOUS! I cooked a delicious combo of Chicken Cacciatore and Crispy Polenta that will blow your mind! Start off with getting the polenta ready because it can cool while the chicken is simmering. Get your favorite apron's time to cook!

Crispy Polenta

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely ground yellow corn meal
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons butter
Olive oil, for brushing

1. In a large heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil, chicken stock, water and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat, and when the liquid is simmering, gradually sprinkle the corn meal over in a very slow, thin stream, whisking constantly in the same direction until all the grains have been incorporated and no lumps remain. Reduce the heat to very low. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir thoroughly every 1-2 minutes for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and the grains of polenta have softened. Stir in the pepper, Parmesan and butter. The mixture will be very thick!
2. Rinse an 8x12-inch roasting pan with water and shake dry. Mound the polenta into the pan and, using a rubber spatula repeatedly dipped in hot water, spread the polenta evenly in the pan until it is just under 1/2 inch thick. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for 1 hour at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
3. When you're ready to serve, preheat the broiler to high heat. Line a cookie sheet with foil and brush the foil with olive oil.
4. Cut the polenta into 8 equal squares and brush them with olive oil. Transfer the polenta to the cookie sheet and grill for 8 minutes on each side, or until deep golden brown. Serve immediately.

Chicken Cacciatore

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (discard the back or freeze it to use in making stock)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 c. all purpose flour
3 tbsp olive oil
5-6 medium brown mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c. dry white wine
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
3/4 c. chicken broth
3 tbsp drained capers
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves

1. Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.
2. In a large, heavy soup pan, heat the oil over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute it in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
3. Add the mushrooms, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers, oregano and basil. Return the chicken to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes.
4. Serve with crispy polenta and enjoy!

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