You know some nights when you are just hungry or frazzled or busy and you just don't want to take the time to find your good camera and good lighting and tell your husband to wait while you photograph what he just wants to consume?  Except you just know this would be a really, really good one before you even try it?  Well, that's a night when I haul out my point and shoot and then let the pictures be what they are.  So they are a little dark and murky because that happens when dinner is served at 7:30pm.  

 

But this food is in no way dark and murky.  It's bright and fresh ... and really filling!  And I feel that you couldn't really make the chicken without the polenta or the polenta without the chicken.

 

IMG_9561

 

 

But this food is in no way dark and murky.  It's bright and fresh ... and really filling!  And I feel that you couldn't really make the chicken without the polenta or the polenta without the chicken.  Tomato and polenta are, like, meant to be together or something.  Well, and basil is meant to be with tomato and corn is meant to be with basil and yeah.

 

We certainly slurped it up happily.

 

 

IMG_9559

 


Chicken with Tomato-Herb Pan Sauce over Corn & Basil Polenta

Taken from Pink Parsley Catering

 

Chicken:

 

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  •  2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (11-12 ounces)
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, dried oregano and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.



Preheat oven to 200 degrees, or the lowest possible temperature. Pat dry both sides of the chicken dry with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper. Measure the flour onto a plate. Working with one breast at a time, press both sides into the flour. Shake gently to remove excess flour and repeat with remaining breast.

 



Melt 1 tablespoon of the oregano butter with the 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Reduce to medium-high when the butter stops foaming. Add the chicken breasts in the skillet and sauté until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Flip and continue cooking 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through and reads 165-170 on an instant read thermometer. Transfer to a small pan or oven-safe plate and keep warm while preparing sauce.



Increase heat to high and add tomatoes to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to char and burst, about 5 minutes. Add remaining butter and the balsamic vinegar. Crush tomatoes slightly to release their juices and continue stirring until butter has melted. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the skillet to loosen the browned bits. Stir in the fresh oregano, basil, and parsley.  Remove chicken from oven and add any juices that may have accumulated. Slice chicken and top with tomato sauce. 

 

 



Polenta:



  • 2 cups medium-grind cornmeal, or polenta
  • salt
  • 4.5 cups water
  • 4.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 ears corn
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  •  1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • freshly cracked black pepper
Bring 4 cups of water and 4 cups of chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.  Mix the remaining half cup of each together in a liquid measuring cup and set aside. 

In a slow stream, whisk the cornmeal into the boiling water, whisking constantly.  To prevent lumps, continue to whisk constantly as the mixture returns to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer.  Every 10 minutes or so, stir the polenta with a wooden spoon.  If it seems too thick and is getting hard to stir, add a little of the reserved water/broth mixture and stir to incorporate.

Meanwhile, remove the husks and silk from the corn.  Stand each ear in a large shallow bowl and cut the kernels from the cobs. 

When the polenta has been cooking for about 30 minutes, stir in the corn.  Continue to cook an additional 10 minutes or so, until the corn is tender and cooked through.  Alternatively, cook the corn using your preferred method and stir it in at the end of the cooking time.

Stir in the butter, and stir until melted.  Remove the pan from heat and stir in the cream, basil, and cheese.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. If the polenta is too thick, stir in more broth.  Serve immediately, garnishing each serving with freshly cracked black pepper.

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