Chicken and Polenta is a dish most of us don’t hear about often. However, it is super easy to make and delicious, so it is perfect for a family dinner. Another thing I like about it is the fact that you can make it with whatever vegetables you have on hand. Not only that, but you can also season it with your favorite herbs and spices to give it the flavors you love.
This simple meal tastes much more elaborate than it actually is. What’s nice is that you don’t have to mention to anyone that this is a quick and easy dinner that anyone can make.
If you’re in a hurry to get the printable recipe, please feel free to scroll down to the bottom of the page. Or you can click on the jump-to-recipe button beneath the title.
One of the things I love about a one-pan meal is how the flavors blend to make each bite so satisfying. And this chicken and polenta is no exception!
Polenta as a Side Dish
If you’re looking for a different but delicious side dish, try polenta. It takes the place of potatoes or rice, and it’s just as good … and in some cases better.
Once you try it, you’ll discover that polenta is one of those side dishes that go with a variety of meats. It is as versatile as rice, potatoes, or grits, and just as easy to cook. In fact, some people call it “Italian grits.”
One of the things I’ve experienced is that polenta can be difficult to find in some areas. So if you don’t know where to look, ask your grocer.
Although some stores may not carry it now, they can probably order it for you. Until then, grits will work as a polenta substitute.
It comes in dry form typically in the grocery aisle or in a tube in the produce section. I found both forms at Harris Teeter.
Polenta is basically the same thing as grits—cornmeal that is ground and cooked with a liquid to make it mushy. It takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with.
This is why I use chicken or beef broth most of the time.
If you have the tube of polenta from the produce section, you can slice it. You can still use chicken broth. I like to sprinkle a seasoning blend on it for extra flavor.
If you’re vegan, you can cook polenta in water with salt, pepper, and other seasonings to give it flavor. It’s a nice dish to have with roasted or sautéed vegetables. You’ll also love the fact that polenta is gluten free.
You only need a few ingredients to make this yummy dish. Here are the items you’ll need:
- Chicken (large cuts such as breast or leg quarters)
- Polenta (either dry or tube)
- Butter or oil
- Seasoning blend
- Salt and black pepper
For all of the exact measurements, go to the recipe card at the bottom of this post. You can either scroll down or click on the jump-to-recipe button beneath the title.
How to Cook Chicken and Polenta
Since all of the ingredients in this dish cook quickly, I like to get the polenta started first. Then I cook the chicken, cover it, and wait for everything to be done at the same time.
First, brown the chicken in olive oil or butter. Then cover it and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165˚ F.
Next, cook the polenta according to the directions in the package. I normally use half chicken broth and half water when making it from the dry version.
If you get the tube of polenta, you can slice it and fry it. However, boiling it enables you to infuse more flavor.
If you want, you may add 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese to the polenta while it’s still in the pot. I normally don’t in case someone doesn’t care for it, since it can be added later.
If you want to make slices from the polenta in a tube, cut it about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick.
Fry it in a pan with a very small amount of oil or cooking spray.
You can either put the polenta, chicken, and vegetables on the pan for a delightful presentation. Or you can put it directly on the plates.
You have now mastered cooking chicken and polenta. Yes, it’s that easy.
Now it’s ready to eat!
If you enjoy an explosion of flavors in your mouth, this will undoubtedly become one of your favorite meals. Serve it to company when they come for dinner, and they’ll undoubtedly see what a brilliant cook you are.
Perfect Desserts After a Chicken and Polenta Dinner
It’s always nice to finish off a meal with something sweet. Here are some desserts you’ll enjoy:
Peanut Butter Cookies – These melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter cookies without flour are a favorite for peanut butter lovers.
Strawberry Dump Cake – This amazing dessert is made even better when you top it with either vanilla ice cream or your favorite whipped topping.
French Silk Pie – If you like a deliciously decadent dessert, then you’ll love this French silk pie from Back to My Southern Roots.
No-Bake Pineapple Pie – Any meal is made even better when you finish with this flavorful pineapple pie!
Easy Scotcheroos – Make these in advance, but try not to eat them all before it’s time to serve them for dessert!
Flavorful Chicken and Polenta
Next time you’re trying to come up with a new and exciting meal for the family, try this chicken and polenta. And don’t be surprised if everyone requests it again!
- 1/2 cup dry polenta
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 large pieces of chicken (breast or leg quarters)
- 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil
- 1/4 tablespoon of organic seasoning blend
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Spray a medium skillet with nonstick cooking spray and turn the heat on medium.
- Brown the chicken on both sides and then cover.
- Cook it on medium-low for about 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165˚ F.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
- Cook the polenta in a mixture of butter, broth, and water.
- Add organic seasoning blend, salt, and pepper as it cooks.
- Cover and turn the heat down to low. Allow it to simmer until it is fully cooked - about 20-25 minutes.
- Scoop the cooked polenta onto the plates and top with the chicken.
- Drizzle some of the seasoning from the pan over the top.
- Add steamed or sautéed vegetables and serve.
You may use either the dry polenta that needs to be reconstituted or polenta in a tube that you slice.
This dish is especially good with sautéed eggplant and tomatoes.
Nutrition InformationYield 2 Serving Size 1-1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 207Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 56mgSodium 909mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 10g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.