Kristine Kidd - Fresh Gluten-Free Food
 
 
 
 
 

Herbed Polenta with Marsala Chicken, Wild Mushroom, and Shallot Ragout

herbed.polenta.JPGWhen the cool wind started roaring around our new hilltop home last week, I got out a heavy saucepan, and stirred up a batch of herb-scented polenta to warm us up.  The simmering potion took the chill off the house too.   

I keep a package of Bob’s Red Mill medium grind cornmeal (available at many grocery stores) in the cupboard at all times; that along with other staples- a bit of onion, scallion or shallot, a handful of fresh herbs, and a little grated cheese, are all the ingredients needed to transform cornmeal into a creamy polenta.

There is one step in the preparation that requires attention- adding the grains of corn to the boiling liquid in such a way as to avoid clumps. The technique is simple: scoop up about ¼ cup of the cornmeal at a time, and sprinkle it from the measuring cup into the bubbling water, whisking all the time.

marsala.chicken.ragout.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After all the cornmeal is added, simply stir whenever you can while preparing the rest of the meal. That night, the rest of the meal was a stew of chicken thighs and mushrooms braised until succulent in Marsala scented broth. Steve and I chatted about the day while I stirred, the enticing aromas wafting up from the polenta and stew announcing the meal. And there is a bonus! Both these recipes make enough extra to turn into an easy, deeply flavored soup the next night.

Marsala Chicken, Wild Mushroom, and Shallot Ragout 

2 servings plus leftovers for White Bean Soup
 
1¼ pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces shallots, peeled, large shallots cut in half lengthwise
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
8 ounces chanterelles, shiitakes, or crimini mushrooms, sliced ½-inch thick
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced ½-inch thick
1 cup organic chicken broth
¼ cup dry Marsala
Herbed Polenta (see recipe below)
 
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy large braising pan or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 1½ minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. 
 
Add the shallots, onion, rosemary, and sage to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the onion is almost tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, and then add the mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes. 
 
Add the broth and Marsala to the pan and bring to a boil, stirring up any browned bits. Return the chicken to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Turn the chicken over, cover the pan and continue cooking until the chicken is tender when pierce with a small, sharp knife, about 15 minutes longer.
 
Meanwhile, make the polenta.
 
Uncover the pan and boil until the sauce reduces slightly and flavors are concentrated, about 5 minutes.
 
Spoon a generous amount of the polenta into the center of 2 warmed plates. Spoon the chicken, vegetables, and sauce over. Sprinkle with additional thyme (see polenta recipe below) and serve.
 
Herbed Polenta
 
2 servings plus leftovers for White Bean Soup
 
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ small onion, chopped
4 cups water
1 cup medium grind cornmeal
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme plus more for garnish
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
 
Heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Gradually sprinkle in the cornmeal, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the polenta is thick and creamy, stirring frequently, about 25 minutes. 
 
Mix the cheese and 1 tablespoon of the thyme into the polenta. Season to taste with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Spoon a generous amount of the polenta in the center of 2 warmed plates. Top with the braised chicken (or another topping). Sprinkle with additional thyme. 
 
Spoon the remaining polenta onto a medium plate. Spread evenly. Cover and refrigerate to use in the White Bean, Chicken, Mushroom, and Butternut Squash Soup (see recipe below).
 
White Bean, Chicken, Mushroom, and Butternut Squash Soup
 
2 generous servings
 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
¼ medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, but into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
3 cups chicken broth 
1 15-ounce can white kidney beans, drained
Leftover Marsala Chicken, Wild Mushrooms, and Shallots (see recipe above)
Leftover Herbed Polenta (see recipe above)
 
Heat the oil in a heavy medium pot or large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and rosemary and sauté until the onion starts of soften, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and sauté until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes to blend the flavors.
 
Meanwhile, cut the leftover chicken into bite-sized pieces.
 
Add the chicken along with its sauce and vegetables to the soup and simmer 10 longer minutes to blend the flavors.
 
Cut the polenta into ½-inch pieces. Add to the soup and simmer just until heated through. Divide the soup among 2 heated bowls and serve.

Tags: mushrooms , polenta , shallots

Categories: Chicken, Cooking from the Cupboard, Gluten Free, Recipes, Sunday Suppers

4

Adri Barr
November 20, 2011 9:58 AM
 

Hi Kristine,
The polenta and chicken dish sounds perfect for today. It also reminded me of the wonderful dishes from the classes you taught at Montana Mercantile. You know, I still make lots of them.

Rich Mora
February 24, 2012 4:17 AM
 

Just found this blog, great recipes and great food photos, now I'm hungry

Sarah
May 1, 2012 9:24 AM
 

That was DELICIOUS!!!! I am trying to eliminate gluten, some nightshade, some dairy. And I was trying to find a yummy Sunday night supper dish. Somehow I found your chicken and polenta dish, and made it. It was WONDERFUL! The herbs were perfect in it. I did use Bob's Red Mill Corn Grits [Polenta] for the polenta and was very pleased with the results, especially never having made it before!

I also have the Medium Grain so I'll try that too.

Thank you so much! I am going to look for more of your recipes! Bon Appetit!

Author Profile Page Kristine Kidd replied to comment from Sarah
November 14, 2012 10:26 AM
 

Dear Sarah, I am happy you enjoyed this recipe. My next book, Weeknight Gluten Free, will be available in Williams-Sonoma stores on March 1. There are lots of recipes featuring polenta.

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