Friday, March 19, 2010

Chicken Caccitore on Polenta

This was my first attempt at making, or even eating, polenta. I'm not sure I liked it. I AM sure it might have been better had I fried it up in a non stick pan, but since I don't have one, it made frying it a bit difficult. Even though I used some oil, the polenta stuck and generally made a mess.

Now the caccitore sauce, on the other hand, was delicious. I think next time I'd serve it with pasta, though.

The serving sizes with this recipe were waaaaaaaay off. It originally said that it serves 12 so I cut it in half, but even at that it only made about 4 servings for us. Jake and I didn't even eat that much because we've both been sick and neither of us were that hungry. So I say if you are used to cooking for 4 people, make the whole recipe and serve it with pasta. You can just freeze the leftover sauce if you want or have some for the next day, which would be totally worth because it is really tasty.

Original recipe adapted from Canadian Living

2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups of mushrooms, sliced
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tsp dry crumbled rosemary
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

In a large, deep frypan, heat up some oil and brown the chicken thighs. When they are browned, transfer them to a plate. You might have to do this in batches.

Then add in your onions and let them hang out in the pan, browning away. I always cook them a bit first because they take longer. After they get a bit transleuscent, I throw in the celery and carrot. Let them cook a bit and then lastly, toss in the garlic and mushrooms.

While I was cooking the veggies, the brown bits on the bottom of the pan from the chicken started to get dark brown. I was getting a bit concerned that they would burn and ruin my dish! So I just added a teeny bit of water-enough to bring it all up from the bottom of the pan, and kept going. Worked beautifully.

Once the veggies were soft, I added the oregano, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Give it a good stir. Then add in your tomatoes and tomato paste, stirring to get all those brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring it to a boil, and then turn it down to low and get it to simmer. Put your chicken and it's juices back into the pan and let it just simmer away, uncovered, for 40 minutes while you stir it occasionally. The mixture will get all thick and delicious, while the chicken cooks through and becomes fall apart tender. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and serve with pasta (or over polenta, if you like it).

Personally, I think with some fusilli and freshly shaved Parmesan, it would be heaven!

Serves 6-8
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