Prep 35 mins
Cook 45 mins
By John Anderson, Whitney Anderson, from Fine Cooking #49.
For the polenta
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup medium-ground cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated gruyere
For the chicken
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
- 8 bone-in chicken pieces (3 to 4 lb. total) or 1 (3 1/2 lb) roasting chickens, cut into 8 pieces, if the breasts are large, halve them
- 1 cup sliced yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1⁄2 cups sliced portabella mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄3 cup dry white wine
- 1 1⁄2 cups canned diced tomatoes, with their juices
- 1⁄4 cup kalamata olive, pitted and halved
- 1⁄2 cup chicken broth, if needed
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
- To make the polenta: Heat the oven to 350°F Coat an 8x8-inch baking dish with the butter. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and the 1 teaspoons salt to a boil and slowly whisk in the cornmeal until the mixture is smooth. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thick, about 10 minute Take the pan off the heat and stir in the thyme and Gruyère. Pour the polenta into the baking dish and bake for 45 min., stirring every 10 minute or so. Meanwhile, make the chicken. (If the polenta is done before the chicken, cover with foil and stir occasionally to keep a crust from forming.).
- To make the chicken: Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, but don't let it smoke. Add as many of the chicken pieces, skin side down, as will fit without crowding and brown all sides well, 3 to 4 minute per side. Transfer to a plate, add more olive oil if needed, and brown the remaining chicken. Transfer to the plate. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, and sauté until translucent, about 4 minute Add the garlic and cook another 2 minute If the pan is dry, add 1 Tbs. oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their juices and begin to brown, about 5 minute Add the salt and pepper. Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits in the pan. Return the chicken pieces to the pan (they should just fit in snugly) and simmer until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minute Add the tomatoes and olives and reduce the heat. Simmer the chicken, turning occasionally, until it's completely cooked and very tender, 30 to 40 minute Check the pan frequently and add broth as needed if the pan becomes too dry. Add 1 teaspoons of the thyme to the pan.
- Serve the chicken over the polenta, with some of the sauce and the remaining thyme sprinkled on top.