Wish Upon A Dish: Chicken and Cremini Mushrooms over Polenta

February 24, 2011

Chicken and Cremini Mushrooms over Polenta

Make the polenta while the chicken simmers so everything will be ready and hot at the same time.

I could eat polenta every night and never get tired of it. It is an wonderful side for Diabetics and you really should try it.

The instant type comes together in 10 minutes so less time than it takes to make rice. Standard ratio is 1 part polenta to 5 parts water. A pat of butter or cream and a handful of grated cheese at the end and you will adore it.

Chicken with Sage and Cremini Mushrooms Over Polenta
(Makes 4 servings, 1 breast each)

* 4 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a even thickness
* salt & pepper
* 2 tbls whole wheat flour, for dredging
* 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 tbls butter
* 2 ounces pancetta, chopped
* 8 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced
* 1 shallot, minced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped, plus more for garnish
* 1/2 cup white wine
* 1/4 cup fat-free half & half or pureed cottage cheese
* 1 tbls butter for finishing the sauce
* 1 tbls minced parsley

1. Place the chicken breast on a square of cling film and sprinkle with a little water. The water helps prevent the chicken from shredding or tearing while pounding. Fold the cling film over and then using the flat side of a meat tenderizer or something equally heavy, pound the chicken until it's an even thickness.
2. Season the chicken on both sides with salt. Meanwhile, add the flour to a wide, shallow bowl and dredge the chicken in the flour, patting off any excess.
3. Place a skillet over medium high heat and add the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Once the butter has melted and is foamy (it should not be brown), place the flour coated chicken into the pan and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes for the first side, until golden brown.
4. Turn the chicken over and continue to cook for 4 minutes or so. Remove the chicken from the pan, place on a plate and cover with aluminum foil.
5. Add the chopped pancetta to the pan and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove and place on a plate covered with several layers of paper towels, to soak up the grease.
6. Add the mushrooms, shallot, garlic, sage and 1/4 cup water to skillet. Season with salt & pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until mushrooms are tender.
7. Add wine and dairy; simmer over med-high heat until slightly thickened. Add the chicken breasts and any juices that have collected on the plate to the pan, as well as the pancetta and remaining tablespoon of butter. Stir to combine, turning the chicken to coat in the sauce. Add a few whole sage leaves, the parsley and serve.

If making polenta or grits, add whole sage leaves and 1 bay leaf to the water and remove once the polenta is thick.

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