Slow Cooked Chicken and Mushrooms on Polenta

When I got to the kitchen this morning, I realized that it was the “sell by” date on the package of chicken thighs in the fridge. More often than not, these are the sort of issues that puts things in motion around here.

I based the chicken part on this recipe:

braised chicken with mushrooms and polenta: serves 4
adapted from Mimi on the Move’s blog, who adapted it from martha’s great food fast (2007, p. 201)

6 skinless bone-in chicken thighs
salt + pepper
olive oil
1 lb white mushrooms, sliced 1/2 inch thick (feel free to use other mushrooms)
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup white wine
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth (I used 1 can of chicken broth)
2 tb chopped parsley

1. season chicken with salt and pepper. heat oil in large skillet (I used the cast iron dutch oven in the photo below) over high heat. add chicken and cook until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes per side. transfer to plate.

2. heat some more oil in the skillet and add mushrooms & garlic. cover and cook over medium heat until mushrooms release their juices, about 2-3 minutes. remove lid and cook over high heat, tossing occasionally, until mushrooms are golden, about 4-5 minutes.

3. pour wine into pot and stir until evaporated. (I only reduced by about half–it was getting late!) add stock and parsley, cook over medium high heat until liquid has reduced, about 8-10 minutes.

4. return chicken to pot, cover with aluminum foil and then the lid, cook at 200 degrees until you get home. Mine was in the oven about 11 hours. serve over polenta, topped with mushrooms and broth liquid.

for the polenta: This awesome microwave polenta recipe is from the cookbook: The Classic Cookbook by Christopher Kimball. The recipe’s available online with a subscription, which I don’t have right now. . .

1 cup whole grain cornmeal (see photo)
3 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt (I used less)

whole grain corn meal

Place in microwaveable bowl or a souffle dish (as the recipe calls for) and stir together. Cover with plastic wrap—don’t let plastic wrap ever touch the food you are cooking—and cook on High for 5 minutes. Stir well, recover, and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Keeps cooking after you are finished. It will take 3o minutes before the polenta is done cooking, so if it is pretty runny, don’t worry about it.

I knew I wanted to slow-cook this dish, so it would be ready when we got home from the studio–but I found out I left the “real” slow-cooker at the studio last month. Drat! So a quick Google search gave me the oven temperature that would substitute — low=200 deg F.

Here’s the link that I used to figure out the oven temp

slow cooker

My cast iron dutch oven is a Roadium find. I love how it can go from stovetop into the oven and looks nice enough to serve from. Because this was going to be in the oven all day long, I covered the top with heavy duty aluminum foil, put on the heavy lid, and then put it in the oven. I was worried about it drying out, but you never know how it will be until you give it a try.

One last thing, I completely forgot to put in the additional polenta stuff (cheese, butter and other delicious stuff). The chicken was so rich and flavorful that it didn’t need any more. It was really good!

I hope I remembered everything — i’m So Sleepy!

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