Monday, February 12, 2007
From Appetizer to Delicious Meal..
I wasn't too sure about this dish when I was making it, but OH MY- was it good. I altered a recipe from my favorite TV chef Giada DiLaurentiis. It was for an appetizer called Polenta Squares with Mushroom Ragu.
The inspiration for this dish came from the fact that I had some leftover rotisserie chicken (big surprise, huh?), some fresh mushrooms and a box of quick cooking polenta in my cabinet that I've been thinking about trying. So it all came together and quite well.
Since I wanted to make a dinner and not an appetizer, I added the chicken and I just cut the polenta squares larger.
Polenta Squares with Chicken Marsala Ragu
2 cups boiling water
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 cup quick-cooking polenta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 rotisserie chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup dry Marsala
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Bring the water, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until the polenta thickens, about 5 minutes. Pour the polenta into a greased 9 by 9-inch baking pan, spreading so that it is 1/3-inch thick. Cover and let stand at room temperature until set, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onion. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and saute until the juices evaporate, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Decrease the heat to medium-low. Add the Marsala. Cover and simmer until the Marsala has reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Add in the chicken broth and chicken pieces.
Stir the flour and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl to form a paste, then stir the paste into the chicken & mushroom mixture. Cover and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir the parsley into the ragu. Season the ragu, to taste, with more salt and pepper.
Cut the polenta into 6-8 squares. Arrange the polenta squares on a platter. Spoon the warm ragu atop the polenta and serve immediately.