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Chicken Mushroom Polenta with Roasted Butternut Squash

Posted on February 13, 2016

Chicken Mushroom Polenta with Roasted Butternut Squash

Polenta has a special place in our hearts. For two years, we lived in an Eastern European village where polenta served as a staple of the cuisine. They made polenta in a lot of combinations. One of our favorite all-time meals was polenta with fried pork, gravy and sheep cheese. Amazing! We’ve tried to replicate it many times but never have nailed it.

Last night, though, we did pretty well with another variation. We fixed chicken mushroom polenta with roasted butternut squash and broccoli. It required a bit of effort but proved worth it.

The polenta takes about an hour. So, start it first. After about 25 minutes, insert the butternut squash and broccoli in the oven, and begin making the chicken and mushroom sauce.

Polenta

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of water, milk or broth
  • 1 cup of polenta
  • 3 tablespoons of butter

Directions

Polenta can be done several ways. It can be pre-soaked or not. It can be made with water, milk or broth. We didn’t have enough foresight to presoak our polenta. Milk makes a creamier but heavier polenta. Broth provides more flavor. We wanted to eat light and wanted the mushroom sauce to shine, so we used water.

On high heat, place a pot with five cups of water on the stovetop. After the water becomes hot, but not boiling, slowly whisk in one cup of polenta. Continue whisking on high heat until it comes to a boil. Immediately turn to low heat and cook for 45 to 60 minutes while whisking occasionally. When the polenta reaches a thick but not solid consistency, mix in the butter. Serve immediately. Seriously, don’t let it sit. It dies quickly.

Creamy Polenta

Roasted Butternut Squash and Broccoli

Ingredients

  • One butternut squash
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel, seed, and cut butternut squash into cubes. Spread butternut squash and broccoli on baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes.

Roasted Butternut Squash

Chicken and Mushroom Sauce

For the chicken and mushroom sauce, we followed this recipe for Half Baked Harvest. It’s a good one. We made only a couple of changes, including:

  • We used three cloves of garlic, instead of two, and pressed them.
  • We further reduced the sauce before adding the chicken breasts back into the pan.
  • We cooked the chicken until it reached 165 °F. Then, we removed it from the heat, covered it, and let it rest for five minutes before serving.

Place polenta on one side of the bowl. Top with roasted butternut squash. Place the chicken breast on the other side with delicious mushroom sauce poured over it.

Garnish with fresh parsley, chili flakes, and grated parmesan cheese. Consume with a heaping glass of white wine.

For inspiration, we thank Cooking Light, Half Baked Harvest, and Serious Eats.

Chicken Mushroom Polenta with Roasted Butternut Squash

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