Quick. Simple. Yummy. I love it.
This dinner was a pleasant surprise. I expected it to be nice and light, and satisfy the family, but I honestly didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. For a meal packed with just a few simple ingredients, it sure was tasty. You’ve got to love it when that happens!
I made it because I’d grabbed some Broccolini at the grocery store on a whim. Broccolini is actually a hybrid of traditional broccoli and a Chinese variety. Sometimes called “Baby Broccoli”, it really isn’t young broccoli at all. The stalks cook up just as tender as the florets, and the stalks are much longer. My girls love broccoli, so I thought I’d change up routine just ever so slightly and try some of this when I saw it at the store.
So, I had the broccolini in my fridge, and then ran across this recipe and realized I had everything else on hand. It was meant to be.
I started by prepping my broccolini.
I sliced the broccolini, stalks and all, into large chunks and tossed them into a pot of salted, boiling water for about five minutes. Then, I drained them off and set them aside while I got working on my chicken.
I had three boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I’d cut in half, and then browned up on the stove. I cooked them until they were just about done, about 4 minutes per side. After they were browned up nicely, I removed them from the pan and got to work on my onions.
I added a sliced onion and some minced garlic to the pan and sautéed them until they were nice and browned, and just started to caramelize.
As the onions were cooking, I sliced up the chicken breast pieces into thin slices. When the onions were finished, I added the chicken, and broccolini to the pan, along with some chicken broth and red pepper flakes.
I gave that a good stir, and then got to work on cooking up my polenta. I brought some water to a boil on the stove, added in some dried yellow polenta (yellow cornmeal) and, with a whisk, stirred it often for about five minutes as the chicken mixture simmered together. Once the polenta was nice and thick, I stirred in a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese.
And then, it was ready to plate up!
Each plate got a good scoop of the creamy polenta, and then a hefty scoop of the chicken and broccolini mixture piled on top.
It was delicious! The textures, the flavors, the freshness…it all came together so nicely. It was a perfect transition meal for these early days of fall. It’s just cozy enough, but still nice and fresh.
CHICKEN AND BROCCOLINI WITH POLENTA
Adapted from Weight Watchers: New Complete Cookbook
- 1 bunch broccolini, chopped into chunks
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut in half crosswise
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2¼ cups water
- ¾ cup instant polenta or yellow cornmeal
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove. Add the broccolini and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until browned on both sides and just about cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add the sliced onions to the pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute.
- Slice the chicken pieces into thin slices.
- Add the broccolini, chicken, broth, and red pepper flakes to the onion mixture and stir until combined. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about five minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the 2¼ cups water to a boil. Slowly whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat and stir with a whisk, constantly, for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens up nicely.
- Remove the polenta from the heat and stir in half of the Parmesan.
- Divide the polenta among four shallow bowls or plates. Spoon the chicken mixture over the polenta, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.