Italian Chicken in Broth with Fried Polenta

I took inspiration for this dish from a dinner I recently ate in Melbourne’s Franco Choo’s restaurant. The dish there was a slow braised chicken leg in a very delicate broth. This version is a quicker dish to cook using chicken supremes, which are one of my favourite cuts of chicken. Both dishes feature fried polenta which work very well with the broth as it soaks up the sauce and creates something pretty delicious! All in all a rather simple and fabulous way to eat chicken.

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)
2 chicken supremes (wing and breast together)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 stick celery (finely chopped)
5 cloves garlic (finely sliced)
3 tablespoons fresh oregano (finely chopped)
2 bay leaves
200ml cup dry white wine
400ml good quality chicken stock
salt & pepper

For the polenta:
1 cup polenta
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter

For frying:
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

DIRECTIONS:
To make the polenta.
Pour 1 cup cold water into a saucepan, pour in a steady stream the polenta, stirring all the while. Pour in another cup of freshly boiled water and stir well. Add the butter and salt and turn on the heat to medium high. Stir the polenta constantly for 10 minutes until very thick, almost like a dough. Remove from the heat and spread into a small (square or oblong) glass or plastic dish (an old plastic takeaway container is perfect) Cover with a teatowel and leave to cool completely.

To make the chicken:
Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy-based casserole pan until hot. Place the chicken in, skin side down and sear for 4 minutes until the skin is golden brown. Remove from the pan. Pour off 2/3 of the butter then add the onion, celery and bay leaves to the pan. Gently fry over a moderate heat until soft and golden. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute before pouring in the wine – let this sizzle for 30 seconds before pouring in the stock. Bring to a simmer then stir in the oregano and season with salt & pepper. Add the chicken, skin side UP and baste with a little of the broth. Pop on a lid and reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To fry the Polenta:
Remove the polenta from the container and cut into large cubes. Heat the butter and oil in a small frying pan until hot, then place the cubes of polenta in the hot oil. Fry on each edge for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden. Drain on paper towels then serve.

SERVING:
Place the chicken in a deep dinner plate then pour over about a cup full of the cooking broth. Arrange some fried polenta around the chicken. I served mine with some broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and beans.

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