Ingredients

8 chicken thighs
1 tablespoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 3/4 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup clear chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 (7-ounce) jar roasted sweet red pepper, drained and sliced
1 (4-ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained 1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts, drained 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

Directions

1. Starting at top center of chicken thigh, loosen skin, leaving outer sides of skin intact. Sprinkle lemon-pepper seasoning on each thigh between skin and meat.
2. In large nonstick skillet, place oil over medium heat. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook, turning once, about 10 minutes on each side or until fork can be inserted in chicken with ease.
3. Remove chicken to a plate and keep warm. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of pan drippings. Discard. Set skillet aside.
4. Preheat oven to broil. In medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. In small bowl, mix together cornmeal, broth and salt. Slowly add mixture to water, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce to low heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
5. In skillet, place celery, green pepper and onion. Saute about 5 minutes, but do not brown. With slotted spoon, remove vegetables and add to cornmeal mixture. Add roasted pepper, mushrooms and water chestnuts. Stir to mix.
6. In 9-inch pie plate, place cornmeal mixture. Remove skin from chicken and discard. Place chicken on top of cornmeal in ring around outer edge. Sprinkle with cheese and place in oven; broil just until cheese melts. Sprinkle with parsley.

A staple of northern Italy, polenta is made from cornmeal. It can be eaten hot or poured in a pan, cooled until firm, cut into squares and fried. Polenta must be watched and stirred continuously as it cooks, yielding a thick, creamy, golden pudding.

Chicken Polenta
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