Have you ever tried polenta? I haven’t. That’s a big part of why I chose this Braised Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms and Creamy Polenta recipe. I came to a startling realization while I was reading over this recipe: polenta is just yellow grits. But it came out a whole LOT more Southern in my head! More like: Dang, it’s just yellla grits! Y’all, I have never felt so cultured and sophisticated ?Nevertheless, I’m finally giving polenta a try. It might not be as fancy as I imagined, but I’m still looking forward to this savory dish.
The best part of this meal is how cheap and easy it is to make in under an hour. The chicken is tender with rustic mushroom flavor and wine.
As promised, the ingredients for this recipe were cheap. It’s full of basics like chicken thighs, flour, and milk. I had to buy most of the ingredients, but this meal certainly didn’t break the bank. I even managed to find presliced mushrooms to cut down on some of the work (I used a mix of white and baby bella).
My braised chicken thighs were ready in 52 minutes, keeping the author’s other promise that this meal would be ready in under an hour. Most of that time was spent actively prepping, stirring, and sauteeing, so be prepared to be in the kitchen the entire time.
Things went according to the instructions for the most part, although I was afraid I ruined the chicken thighs. As you can see below, searing them on high heat for 5 minutes per side in my cast iron pan burned the skin on 3 out of 4 pieces. Medium-high heat or a few minutes less might be more appropriate. Of course, this could be a quirk of my stove or a difference between gas and electric–I’m not completely sure.
All was not lost though and turned the heat down a bit for the other side of the chicken and to saute the mushrooms and onions. Once I had the chicken, mushrooms, and liquid in the pan to finish cooking at Step 3, I noticed the liquid reduced very quickly. It doesn’t say to cover the pan, but I popped on a lid to capture the steam and save what liquid was left. I’m happy to say it worked, and I had some sauce when cooking was done.
While all this was going on, I got the polenta going. It was super easy and just like making grits. Just be sure to stir regularly to keep things from getting lumpy and sticking to the bottom of the pan. My non-stick saucepan helped a lot, but I still had to keep an eye on things.