February 3, 2011

Chicken Italiano and Polenta

Things have been rough with illness recently but today, everything changed. My sister brought a beautiful baby boy into this world, Tristan! He is SO adorable and he gives us all a reason to thank God for the amazing blessing and gift of children!

I have never tried polenta in my life, so I decided to give it a whirl and I am very happy that I did. This is so incredibly easy and really delicious! My husband liked it a lot and started suggesting meals that it would go well with. My daughter wasn't a fan, probably because she thought it was supposed to taste like my mashed potatoes. Oh well. Can't please everyone all the time! I will definitely be adding it into my meal rotation!

Printable Recipe

Parsley Polenta

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 c onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 c water or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 c coarse ground cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 oz grated Parmesan
Chicken Italiano

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for frying the chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced; divided
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar, or to taste
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 c Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Shredded mozzarella or grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
  • Fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

Make the polenta. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, stirring and cooking until tender. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the water or chicken broth. Turn the heat up to high and bring it to a boil. Very gradually, whisk in the cornmeal. Pour the mixture into an oven-safe dish and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Gradually stir in the Parmesan cheese.

While the polenta is cooking, make the tomato sauce for the Chicken Italiano. Heat the 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Add 1 clove of the minced garlic, cooking and stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, parsley and bay leaf. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until ready to use.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Coat the chicken pieces in the beaten egg. Place the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a shallow bowl. Coat the chicken pieces in the breadcrumb mixture and place in the skillet. Cook the chicken on each side until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Pour the tomato sauce over and around the chicken in the skillet and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Top with mozzarella and/or Parmesan cheese and cover, until the cheese is melted. Garnish with parsley.

Serve with the polenta.


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