Recipe by dividend
I really wanted to like this recipe. The picture in the magazine was beautiful, and I thought it would be a nice alternative to traditional bread stuffing. When I tried it, my polenta cubes disintegrated when I mixed it all together. I think this calls for way to much chicken broth, I don't know. I hope someone else will have better luck with it than I did! [Gourmet, November 2005]
Top Review by 5thCourse
This rating is based on my tweaked recipe result, after taking into consideration dividend's comments. It is a perfectly balanced dish with the mild/sweet corny taste and the seasoned sausage. The cubes of polenta are so fun to eat:) To be sure the cubed polenta didn't fall apart, I broiled them for about 40 minutes, flipping. They formed a crispy skin which was delicious. (I brushed the melted butter on to ensure better coverage) I didn't add all that liquid to the meat...I think its supposed to soak in with the rest of the polenta and form an almost mushy, stuffing-like texture. All I did was throw in a boullion and about 1/2 cup water and about half of the intended mashed polenta. I was glad, it would have been pretty mushy, I think. I love this dish! Next time I will halve it for the two of us.
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, plus
- additional unsalted butter, for buttering pans
- 6 1⁄2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups instant polenta (11 oz)
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings discarded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (16 fl oz)
- 1 cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (2 oz)
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Directions See How It's Made
- Butter a shallow baking pan (15 by 10 inches). Bring 6 cups water with salt to a boil in a 4-quart heavy pot, then add polenta in a stream, stirring with a long-handled spoon, and simmer, stirring constantly, 5 minutes (polenta will be very thick). Add 3 tablespoons butter and stir until butter is incorporated. Spread polenta in buttered pan and chill, uncovered, until firm, about 15 minutes.
- While polenta is chilling, cook sausage in 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat, breaking up lumps, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Add onion to skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 3 minutes; add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 1/2 cup water and stir up brown bits from bottom of skillet, then add onion mixture and chicken broth to sausage.
- Preheat broiler. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with remaining tablespoon oil in a small saucepan. Invert polenta onto a large cutting board, then cut half of it into 1/2-inch cubes (reserve remainder) and toss with butter mixture in a medium bowl. Return polenta cubes to baking pan, spreading evenly, and broil 3 to 4 inches from heat until golden brown in patches, 8 to 12 minutes.
- Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 450°F Butter a 13- by 9-inch baking dish (3-quart capacity).
- Coarsely mash remaining polenta with a potato masher and add to sausage mixture. Add broiled polenta cubes, 1/2 cup cheese, parsley, and pepper to taste, and toss until combined well. Transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle top of stuffing with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake, covered tightly with a sheet of buttered foil (buttered side down), until heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake until top is lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes more.
- Cooks' note:.
- Stuffing, without parsley and cheese, can be prepared (but not baked) 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature; stir in parsley before proceeding.