Friday, March 26, 2010

Chicken with Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Chicken with Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

See Diana?! I do post things other than desserts. Such as really simple and really delicious dinners for one...or two if you so desire. I saw this last week and made it a couple of days later. I was able to use up some kitchen staples. I decided to up the green factor by throwing in some baby spinach I got at the Santa Monica farmers market earlier that day. I decided to prove my agility by making this all at once and it really helped to have all of my ingredients in place. This is a great meal to have on a weeknight and really filling without weighing you down. I just love polenta, but I did think the amount here could have served four rather than two.

Chicken with Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Chicken with Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
(Adapted from Solo Suppers: Simple Delicious Meals to Cook for Yourself as found on Serious Eats)

Makes 2-3 servings

1 cup cornmeal
4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1-2 teaspoons olive oil, or as needed (I used the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes)
1 boneless chicken breast or 2 thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 tablespoons oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, cut into narrow strips
3 small cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/3 cup chicken stock
2-3 handfuls of baby spinach
2 tablespoons kalamata olives, sliced (optional)

To prepare the polenta, heat 5 cups of water and a good pinch of salt in a saucepan. Once boiling, whisk in the cornmeal in a slow stream, continuing to whisk vigorously until it's all added. Continue cooking and whisking until it's too thick to whisk, then switch to a wooden spoon. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is soft and thick, about the time to prepare the rest of the recipe. More water may be added if the polenta is too thick.

In saute pan, cook the bacon over medium heat in a bit of olive oil until the fat begins to render and it is beginning to crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat behind.

Turn the heat to medium-high and, if needed, add some olive oil to the pan to cook the chicken (it depends on how much fat the bacon rendered). Cook the chicken pieces until golden all over and just cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Remove with a slotted spoon to a separate plate.

Add the onion and cook until golden, about ten minutes, then stir in the bacon, the sun-dried tomatoes, and the garlic. Cook for two minutes, then add the chicken stock and scrape up the brown bits in the pan. Add the spinach, and cook for a couple of minutes until the spinach has slightly wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to reduce a little, then stir in the chicken and bacon to the pan. Once heated through, spoon the polenta onto plates and top with the chicken.

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Maria said...

Love that big bed of polenta!

Erica said...

haha- I was about to type the same thing as Maria! Love the spinach addition.

MaryMoh said...

What a beautiful dish....chicken on that bed of yellow polenta! I like it.

The Food Librarian said...

This looks so delicious! And I like the Linen a la Tartelette addition! :) - mary

vanillasugarblog said...

wow, aren't you all domestic and schhhtuff. esi i'm loving this! what cocktails can we have with this? can we sit out on the veranda overlooking the ocean too?

Memória said...

Wow. This dish looks absolutely stunning!! I love how the polenta looks behind the chicken and tomatoes.

P.S. Did Diana not see your Korean dishes? :D

Pam said...

I love every ingredient you listed and it looks and sounds wonderful! I will bookmark this one! Thanks!

Diana said...

There you go again, taunting me with your perfect polenta! Sigh. I don't know how I put up with your abuse... I don't know how!

But at least I can eat this recipe -- thanks for throwing me a non-dessert bone! Mmmm bacon...

test it comm said...

That is just packed with flavour. I like that you served it on polenta.

Sippity Sup said...

Oh my! GREG

shaz said...

Mmm, I love the sound of spinach and bacon, oh and chicken too. This is the second polenta post I've seen this week, must be a sign to make some! Have a great weekend Esi :)

Unknown said...

gorgeous and delicious! i still haven't made polenta, and i think that's a shame... must remedy when i get the desire to cook again :/

Esi said...

You guys, this polenta is a breeze and such a dream. Try it soon!!

Dawn, I think I cold, crisp white wine is the perfect accompaniment here.

Diana, everything is better with bacon, Miss one slice!!

Shannon, I hope you find your mojo soon and then make this polenta :)

The Duo Dishes said...

Looks like there is polenta under there, so this is the winner of the week! Everyone needs to make more polenta.

thepenandthepear said...

Ingenious dish!

Beautiful - unique -

Congrats on Top 9!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I like pretty much anything on a bed of soft polenta, but the rest of this dish looks really delicious too!