Monday, March 29, 2010

Chicken with a Spinach-Tomato Ragout over Roasted Garlic Polenta

I was craving polenta today - actually I have been for about a week but tonight I was craving it AND I felt like cooking. I had a tube of Trader Joe's polenta, but I wanted creamy polenta so decided to make it from scratch. I have made it several times and love trying new ingredients and flavors in the polenta. Besides the almost constant whisking, it's not hard.

I love rustic chicken dishes served over polenta but can never do that when Jon is home, so I took advantage of him being at a work dinner tonight and made this for myself.

The Polenta - Roasted Garlic with Gruyere

  • 3 cups liquid; I used 2 c vegetable broth and 1 c water
  • 1/2 bulb roasted garlic, mashed and combined with the liquid
  • Large pinch of thyme
  • 3/4 c stoneground yellow cornmeal
  • Approximately 1/3 c shredded gruyere cheese

Bring the liquid/garlic mixture to a boil. Season with thyme. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, whisking continuously until creamy, about 12 minutes. Sometimes this takes longer (up to 18 minutes), but mine came together pretty quickly tonight. Whisk in the cheese.

Chicken with a Spinach Tomato Ragout - Ingredients

Note - I made this for just myself; double the ingredients for 2.

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded out just a bit
  • Salt, pepper, paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1/2 c low sodium chicken broth


  • Heat olive oil in a saute pan
  • Season chicken liberally with salt, pepper, and paprika and add to pan. Cook 3 min per side or until golden brown.
  • Add onions and garlic, saute 2 minutes. If your pan seems too dry, add a touch of broth.
  • Add tomatoes, saute 2 minutes.
  • Add spinach to the pan and let wilt down for a minute (I just threw it in on top and didn't stir it in).
  • Add broth and bring to a simmer; let simmer until chicken is cooked through, just a few minutes. Adjust salt and pepper if needed. Serve over the polenta.

This turned out exactly how I had hoped - fragrant, flavorful, comforting, and rustic. And although I had 2 pans actively going at once and requiring attention, everything came together very quickly and easily.

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  1. I confess that when you posted about turning a polenta tube into creamy polenta, I was wondering why you wouldn't just make it from scratch considering how easy it is, but I didn't want to say anything ;) I love the use of the roasted garlic and in general I just love polenta so this sounds yummy!

  2. Hi Cara! That was only because I was out of cornmeal and was being lazy :)

  3. This looks amazing! I love a good creamy polenta, and I think chicken is the perfect topping!