Thursday, September 24, 2009

Italian Style Chicken Sautee and Polenta

Still experiencing cold and foggy weather in San Francisco so the need for comfort foods continues. Wanted to do something a bit different with boneless chicken thighs since I seem to be continually oven-baking them. So tonight decided to saute boneless thighs in a tomato sauce. As sides, I made polenta and steamed zucchini.

Set up all your ingredients;

  • thinly sliced onion (approx 1/3 cup)
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic (vary per your preference)
  • package of boneless chicken thighs (clean and cut to more manageable sized pieces) [approx 6 or little over a pound]
  • can of tomatoes (DO NOT DRAIN and if they are whole cut them up)
  • 2 tablespoon red wine
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Took out my cast iron pot, and heated approx 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. When it was slightly smoking, tossed in onion and garlic. Let those cook for about three min, until they just started to brown, then pushed to the side and gradually added pieces of boneless chicken thighs to brown.

You want to do this slowly to keep the heat high enough to brown, so added a few pieces, brown on one side, turn over, move the onions/garlic to cover and add more chicken. Do this until all the chicken has been added and turned over. Now add the red wine, salt, pepper and oregano; scrap the brown bits off the pan a bit and then add the tomatoes. Let this all simmer for approximately 25 min.

Polenta - a cornmeal mush really - becomes a rich, creamy side dish with a bit of butter and cheese added. I set up the zucchini (approximately three) in a steamer and then start on the polenta. In a heavy pan boil 3 1/4 cups of water. As it starts boiling, add 1 tablespoon of salt and turn the burner to medium low heat so that the water is just simmering. Add one cup of coarse-grained cornmeal in a fine stream - so that you can really almost see eat grain hitting the water - stirring with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring while adding all the polenta and then for the next 10 minutes. (Remember in the last five minutes turn on the burner under the zucchini.) The polenta is done when it tears away from the sides of the pot as you stir. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

This made four servings so increase as needed.

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