This is one of those meals that helps bridge the transition from Winter into Spring. Like I said before, I’m pretty much over the heavy cold-weather food right now. I’m ready for light, Spring, warm weather flavors. Despite being ready for Spring, we never know exactly what Mother Nature is going to throw our way this time of year. This dish has a hearty, warm-your-soul depth to it, but some bright, fresh, light flavors of warmer months that I’m currently craving. It’s a cozy dish, but not heavy at all…just full of flavor.
I started by sauteing some diced prosciutto in a bit of olive oil.
Once the prosciutto was crisped up, I removed it from the pan with a slotted spoon and let it drain on some paper towels for a bit. Then, I added some breaded chicken breast pieces to the pan and browned them on all sides.
Once the chicken was browned, I added some sliced onion to the pan, and cooked it until it had softened up. Then, I added in some garlic and dried thyme, and stirred that until it was fragrant. At this point, I deglazed the pan with some white wine, and scraped all of the browned bits off the bottom of the pan into the sauce.
I let the wine reduce down until it was all but gone, and then added a can of diced tomatoes, some chicken broth, and a handful of kalamata olives to the mix.
Once that was all stirred in, and simmering, I returned the chicken and prosciutto back in, and let the stew simmer for about ten minutes, until the chicken was cooked through and the sauce had thickened up just a bit.
As the chicken simmered, I got my polenta together. I brought some milk and water to a boil on the stove top, poured in my polenta (yellow cornmeal), and whisked that into the milk mixture along with some lemon zest, salt and pepper.
I whisked the mixture every couple of minutes, and after about seven minutes, it was nice and thick. At this point, I stirred in three-ounces of low-fat cream cheese until it had melted in nicely.
Once the polenta was ready, the chicken was too! I spooned the polenta into bowls for us, and topped it with that savory, briny stew.
It was delicious. This dish is chock full of fresh, bright flavors, and that creamy lemony polenta pairs perfectly with the chicken and sauce.
Happy Almost Spring!
CHICKEN MARENGO WITH CREAMY LEMON POLENTA
Adapted from Cuisine at Home: Chicken
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 3 oz. diced prosciutto
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cups sliced onion
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, in juice
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- lemon zest and fresh parsley for garnish
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 tsp. minced lemon zest
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 3 oz. low-fat cream cheese, cubed
- Combine the flour, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a plastic storage bag. Add the chicken and toss to coat with the flour mixture. Set aside.
- Saute' the prosciutto in the olive oil, in a large saute pan, over medium-high heat until crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the prosciutto with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
- Add the chicken pieces to the pan and cook, until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a separate plate and set aside.
- Add the sliced onion to the pan and saute over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme to the onions and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up all of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce until the wine is almost evaporated.
- Add the tomatoes, broth, and olives to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Return the chicken and prosciutto to the pan. Simmer to thicken the stew, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice.
- Serve over Creamy Lemon Polenta. Garnish with lemon zest and parsley.
- Boil the milk and water in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Whisk in the cornmeal, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cook polenta until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in cream cheese until melted.