Monday, October 5, 2009

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Oven Baked Polenta



I'd never tried polenta before and I've been wanting to make it for some time now. This was an oven baked polenta, so it was very easy to make, just throw it together in a pan, whisk halfway through baking, and add the rest of the ingredients for a perfectly creamy polenta. However, I'm just not sure if I'm completely sold yet. I liked the creaminess, I liked how it was the perfect blank palate to soak up the flavors of the chicken and mushroom sauce, but it was just missing something to me. A meatiness, if you will, it just tasted a little empty to me. So either I need to figure out a better way to make polenta, or I will just be serving this with mashed potatoes. Does anyone have any good polenta tips for me?

Now the chicken on the other hand? Fantastic, divine, juicy, flavorful. You just can't beat chicken thighs that are cooked with such flavorful ingredients like white wine, garlic and mushrooms. We gobbled this up, and went back for seconds! Whether you make this with the polenta or not, you've got to try the chicken!

Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Oven Baked Polenta
By Great Food Fast

Ingredients

4-6 boneless chicken thighs (the recipe calls for breasts, but we like our thighs!)
course salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb mushrooms wiped clean and sliced
4 garlic cloves, halved
1/2 dry white wine (optional)
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Oven Baked Polenta (recipe to follow)

Directions

1. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken; cook until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

2. Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the hot skillet. Add the mushrooms, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover; cook over medium heat until the mushrooms release their juices, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the lid. Cook over high heat, tossing occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden, 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Pour the wine, if using, into the skillet; cook, stirring, until evaporated, 1 minute. Add the stock and parsley; cook over medium-high heat until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid has reduced, 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Return the chicken to the skillet. Cover; simmer over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve the cutlets and polenta topped with the mushrooms and a drizzle of cooking liquid. Garnish with additional fresh parsley.

Oven Baked Polenta

Ingredients

3/4 cup cornmeal
course salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram, or 1/4 teaspoon dried

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. In a lidded baking dish, whisk together 3 cups water, the cornmeal, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/8 teaspoons pepper. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through (the polenta will still seem very watery, and you'll want to throw it out and give up, but don't worry, it's supposed to look like that! lol)

2. Remove from the oven, and add the milk, butter and marjoram, and whisk briskly until smooth. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

36 comments:

Ingrid said...

Are you doing something different? Your photos of this dish are really outstanding!

Except for the fact that you used thighs I'm all over this! The polenta I made and tried leaved a lot to be desired. I'll be checking back for your improved recipe!
~ingrid

The Blonde Duck said...

Is there anything you could recommend to sub for mushrooms? Ben's allergic, and this looks fabulous!

teresa said...

ingrid, i actually got a new camera, and i'm thrilled that you noticed, thank you! i've got a lot of learning to do, but it's been a fun process!

teresa said...

blonde duck: zuchinni and squash would probably make for a good substitute. or even just sliced onions that have been caramelized. sorry to hear about the allergy!

Pam said...

I need to try eating polenta more, I've only had it once or twice. The braised chicken looks outstanding.

the ungourmet said...

I wish I could help with the polenta but I have never made it. I have purchased those ready made tubes of polenta and I thought they were horrid! I want to like it too!

Erica said...

ow! I've only made polenta fully on the stovetop- I would love to try it in the oven.

Jenn said...

I wish I could help you on the polenta, but that's one thing I haven't had yet. But the chicken on the other hand...looks delicious!!!

Palidor said...

Sorry I can't help you on the polenta. Never cooked it and only ate it once. I must say, though, that yours looks way better than what I had! The chicken looks great! I love chicken and mushrooms together.

Maria said...

I LOVE polenta, great recipe!

Donna-FFW said...

Not a huge fan of polenta, but then again have only made it twice. The chicken sounds really tasty!

Julie said...

Your chicken looks great!
A few months ago I tried a great polenta recipe over at Reeni's site (http://cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.blogspot.com/2009/02/mama-mia.html) We all really liked it. She has a few others as well.

Barbara Bakes said...

I haven't made polenta yet either and have been wanting to try it. If you find a recipe you like better let me know. The chicken sounds great!

Mmm...Cafe said...

This looks so good! I just saw a recipe with polenta and was a little scared to try it! Now I will have to because this looks delicious!

Kim said...

Love your pictures :) I tried making polenta about a week or two ago and it didn't turn out good at all. In fact, I threw it all away. I figure polenta is just about like eating grits, which I do like. I'm not sure. I might try it again. Let us know if you do find a good polenta recipe out there. The chicken looks heavenly :D

Jo said...

Hi there....

WOW Polenta in the oven... I am DEFINITELY trying that ~ I cannot get it right on the stove top... gggrrr I love it!!

Can I ask what camera you bought?

Cheryl said...

Wow I have always wanted to make Polenta, but I was ascared!~

♥peachkins♥ said...

I love chicken and mushroom together.

Katy ~ said...

Oooh, a new camera! How fun and nice is that! Good on ya! Love new toys!

Personally, I don't care for polenta. I think it's an acquired taste, something you almost have to be raised on. I think I should like it because I like the ingredients, but together they just don[t work for me either.

The chicken, however..wow. Anything cooked in wine with mushrooms has got to be fantastic!

Elizabeth said...

I am a HUGE fan of mushrooms and this combination looks amazing. I truly believe mushrooms and polenta were made for each other!

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

This looks really delicious!! I love polenta! But I almost always mix in cheese, it adds that 'something' to it. I like fresh Parmesan or cheddar.

Mini Baker said...

oh my god. I LOVE polenta! I'm so excited I found your blog and THIS recipe!!! I will be checking back often :)

Leslie said...

My polenta has to be very salty to do anything for me!!!
I am loving this dish

Melody said...

How fun to have a new camera! The pictures look great. I'm loving that chicken.

Jamie said...

I love polenta almost any way, but yo are right that it usually is a blank palette for sauces and gravies. You should stir in some butter and plenty of grated Parmesan cheese, or some gorgonzola and sage leaves. Yum. Serve it with melted gorgonzola sauce or a tomato-mushroom sauce over it like they do in Milan.

But this chicken and mushrooms looks so delicious! I'd try that!

girlichef said...

YUM!! I actually am a big polenta fan...I think adding fresh parm really brings out the flavor. You can also spread the baked polenta in a lined & sprayed sheet pan and refrigerate it. Once it's cold & firm, you can cut out shapes and fry it in a little butter....SO GOOD! That said, your chicken and mushrooms look like they go perfectly with it :D

biz319 said...

My idea would be to cook it in the oven that way again - then cool it in the fridge, cut squares or use a biscuit cutter and saute in olive oil and garlic - it gets crispy on the outside, but stays creamy on the inside.

Thanks for the recipe!

doggybloggy said...

I know you can see it but I can - this dish has my name all over it!

teresa said...

you guys are awesome, thanks for all the ideas!

jo- it's a pentax k20? if that's not it, i'll get back to you, but we've been very happy with it!

Lynn said...

The chicken thighs sound delicious. But I'm with you when it comes to polenta. I think I've only made it once, but it reminded me of really bland cornbread and I never got excited enough about it to try it again. Who knows, maybe there's a great polenta recipe out there just waiting for us to discover it ;)

And I just read all the comments here; I'll bet adding Parmesan would make a big difference. Or serving it with some kind of pungent tomato sauce. Don't bloggers have the best ideas?!

darnold23 said...

This looks wonderful, as do all of your posts. I am really enjoying reading your blog. Come post a favorite slow cooker recipe on Crock Pot Wednesday. Thanks for sharing your great ideas.

darnold23 said...

I meant to add that I usually chill my polenta in a brownie pan after it is cooked, then cut it into whatever shapes I want. I heat it by "frying" it in a skillet with just a touch of olive oil or OO and butter. If I want a soft polenta, I just serve it from the pot of course. Hope this helps. I vary the flavors that I use...freshly grated Parmesan is traditional and great. Herbs such as thyme and oregano are wonderful. Roasted red bell peppers, chopped finely, are amazingly good. Woodsy mushrooms...the flavor opportunities are endless. We like it plain with butter, garlic, salt and pepper also.

Alissa said...

Chicken & 'shrooms sounds sooo lovely!!!! YUM! You are getting so awesome with that camera & your dishes are such a great color! LOVE it!

Coleen's Recipes said...

I have never eaten polenta either (I was sure I was the only one). If you get any good polenta seasoning ideas, I hope you will post them.Its really hard to beat mashed potatoes with chicken.

EAT! said...

You may want to try making the polenta with part stock. It could add the richness you are looking for.

Spryte said...

YUM!!! That looks delish!! I just recently had success with creamy polenta and LOVE it!