Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rosemary Baked Chicken with Carmelized Onion Polenta and a Balsamic Pomegranate Reduction

My HEB had split chicken breast on sale for $1.00 a i picked up a pack.  In hindsight i wish i had picked up like six more.  I thought it was 2 breast and it was actually 3....this is alot of chicken.  I honestly had no idea what i was going to do with it.  I started thinking about it sunday morning and the idea of a baked rosemary chicken popped into my head.  I immediately thought about serving it with polenta.  I love polenta.  I was first exposed to it way back when at Via Fettuccini, a restaurant i waited tables at in Los Angeles.  Polenta is an Italian staple.  You can certainly purchase it premade or you can stick with me and save about $3.75 each time you make it.  A very helpful HEB cooking connection chef came up to me one day in the store and said "i can let you pay 5 bucks for that premade polenta or i can just tell you how my grandmother makes it..." long story short....1 1/2 part liquid to 1 part plain cornmeal.  Polenta, like couscous, will take on the flavor you impart upon it.  So spice it up.  Here we go!!!

What you will need:

3 bone in split chicken breasts ($2.40...on sale of course)
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cup chicken broth ($.50)
1/2 cup nonfat milk
8 cloves garlic ($.15)
1/2 sweet yellow onion ($.60)
1 bag frozen zucchini ($1.18)
4 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese ($.40)
1 cup balsamic pomegranate vinegar ($.50)

How to make it happen:


Carmelize 1/4 of the onion adding the garlic during the last 5 minutes.  Bring the chicken broth and milk to a boil and toss in the onion and garlic.  Slowly whisk in the cornmeal.  You will need to continually stir this as it thickens...mine took about 15-20 minutes and i added a few more pinches of cornmeal.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.  Dump the polenta out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper...once it is into a square shape about 1/2 inch thick.  Put it in the fridge for atleast an hour to cool.  Remove from the fridge and cut into any shape you like.  Rub the polenta with olive oil and bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.  Turn it once at the 15 minute mark.

I made a rub of fresh rosemary, minced garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and 2 tbs of the olive oil for the chicken.  I released the skin of the chicken and equally dispersed the rub on all three pieces before covering with the skin.  This went in a dutch oven for an hour and ten minutes at 350 degrees.  I kicked the oven up to 450 an hour in and popped the polenta in.  I took the chicken out, removed the skin and allowed it to rest while the polenta finished up.  I sauteed the zucchini down with the other 1/4 of sliced onion in the remaining olive oil.  The vinegar gets reduced down over a high boil until it reached a thick syrup like consistency.  Perfect to drizzle over the chicken and polenta.  The was a flavor packed meal.  If there is anything to take away from this I would say it is polenta.  This dish is so versatile.  One of my favorite versions is a smooth polenta (not shaped and baked) under roasted vegetables.  This recipe might prove to be more of a challenge, but well worth it.  I love being in the kitchen, escpecially when this is the outcome.  Give it a can do it!!!  This meal cost less than $7 to prepare...and to be perfectly chicken breat fed all three of us.  The little one will be eating good at summer camp the next couple of

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that looks amazing! I have never tried polenta, but am a new fan of couscous thanks to you! I can't wait to try this recipe... or rather give it to my man to try :)