Thursday, July 29, 2010

OH....this one was YUMMY!!!

I'm sharing...because, well, I like to share.  My August issue of Bon Appetit came and I combed through it.  I usually find one recipe per issue that sparks my interest that I have to try.  This issue was no different.  Oddly enough, my husband had looked through the magazine and of all the recipes (even those that included red meat...his all time favorite), he picked the same one I did:  Grilled Mustard Chicken with Fresh Corn Polenta.  Now, let me assure you.  I have never...let me emphasize NEVER made polenta before.  I watched Michael Chiarello  from FoodTv's Easy Entertaining, make it but even that was very different from this recipe (he used it as one would use a noodle in lasagne)The recipe from Bon Appetit was different...it was the equivalent to corn grits.  I happen to love grits.

The recipe suggests that if you can't find polenta (a coarse version of corn meal) to use cornmeal instead and cook for half the time.  I found polenta in the natural food section of Cub...it was also called corn grits.  The other "odd" ingredient was mascarpone.  I have had mascarpone in tiramisu but have never cooked with it myself.  I did find it at the local grocery store in the special cheese section (and it was expensive!  $4.99/8oz).  I also found it at TJ for half that price (of course I bought it cheaper...TOO, I see tiramisu in my future).  Since I had all the ingredients on hand...tonight was the night.

CHICKEN

  • 6 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 6 large chicken thighs with skin and bones
  • Olive oil

POLENTA

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 3 large ears, I used 4)
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese 

Preparation

CHICKEN

  • Whisk onions, mustard, lemon juice, and garlic in medium bowl to blend. Using fingertips and leaving 1 side still attached, loosen skin on each chicken thigh. Lift skin flap on each and fold back. Spoon half of mustard seasoning atop thighs, dividing equally; spread to cover meat. Fold skin flap over to enclose seasoning and secure skin with metal pin. ( I didn't bother with the metal pin) Sprinkle thighs with salt and pepper on both sides. Turn thighs, skin side up, and spread remaining mustard seasoning over skin. Transfer to small baking sheet. DO AHEAD Chicken can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush grill rack generously with olive oil. Grill chicken until golden brown and cooked through, turning chicken occasionally and moving to cooler spot on grill if browning too quickly, 40 to 50 minutes.  I kept chicken on the back burner while I increased the heat on the front burners to quickly grill zucchini.

POLENTA

  • Bring 5 cups water to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Gradually whisk in polenta, then 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt and sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until polenta is tender, thick, and creamy, whisking often and adjusting heat to maintain gentle simmer, 25 to 30 minutes. Add corn kernels and cook, stirring constantly, until corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in mascarpone cheese. Season polenta to taste with salt and pepper.  Here is where I deviated.  I added about 5 slices of cooked bacon, I had cut into 1 inch pieces and fried to a crisp.
  • Spoon polenta onto each of 6 plates. Top with grilled chicken and serve.
     
     It pretty much looked exactly like this (picture courtesy of Bon Appetit):
     
     
    I served it with zucchini I threaded on metal skewers, sprayed with olive oil, Emeril's Essence and pepper and tossed on the grill as soon as the chicken was done.  I topped the zucchini with a little shredded asiago and served dinner on the deck with a bottle of chilled Santa Barbara Landing Chardonnay.
     
    This recipe is definitely a keeper.  It also didn't take long to put together.

I have taken the left over polenta and placed it on a plate to harden.  I will fry it in bacon grease tomorrow (SLAM...that's the sound of your arteries closing up shop) and top with maple syrup and we'll eat it for breakfast.  As my dad taught me to do


Waste not...want not.  After this, you'll want...NOT!

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