Mom’s Slow Braised Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms & Cheesy Polenta

Mom’s Slow Braised Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms & Cheesy Polenta

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
The longer it cooks the more "fall apart" tender the chicken becomes. You'll need to simmer for least 45 minutes, but it can go as long as an hour and a half as long as you keep an eye on the liquid so that it doesn't dry out. Ditto for the polenta – it's all but impossible to overcook, and will keep getting more tender the longer it goes. As long as you have a fine ground polenta, it can be cooked in as little as 20 minutes, or as long as 90 minutes. Just don't add the cheese until the very end, or it could turn gummy.
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Servings 4

Ingredients
 

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered or sliced
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

For the polenta

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup fine polenta
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • reshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup grated parmigiano, plus more for passing at the table

Instructions
 

  • Warm the olive oil in a large skillet with a lid. Saute the onion, bell pepper and garlic for 8-10 minute until the onion is transluscent. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook for another 5 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • If the mushrooms have given off a lot of their liquid, cook until it is mostly evaporated, then push them to the side of the pan and add the tomato paste. Cook the tomato paste for a few minutes, until it begins to stick to the bottom and becomes a deep red color, then pour in the chicken broth, pepper flakes, garlic powder and the 1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt. Stir until the tomato paste is dissolved in the liquid, then add the chicken thighs. Partially cover and keep at a low simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to an hour. If it starts to get too thick, add a little water or more broth.
  • About 20 minutes before you plan to serve the chicken, make the polenta. Bring the water and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan and whisk in the polenta. Stir until it begins to thicken, about 3-4 minutes, then turn the heat to low, cover and let cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom so that it doesn’t stick. Add more water if it is too thick and dry. When the polenta is fully cooked, stir in the cheese, turn off the heat and keep covered.
  • To serve, divide the polenta among 4 wide shallow bowls and spoon the chicken and sauce over top equally. Pass grated parmigiano and more pepper flakes at the table.
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The longer it cooks the more “fall apart” tender the chicken becomes. You’ll need to simmer for least 45 minutes, but it can go as long as an hour and a half as long as you keep an eye on the liquid so that it doesn’t dry out. Ditto for the polenta – it’s all but impossible to overcook, and will keep getting more tender the longer it goes. As long as you have a fine ground polenta, it can be cooked in as little as 20 minutes, or as long as 90 minutes. Just don’t add the cheese until the very end, or it could turn gummy.

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