365 Days of Slow Cooking: Day 78: Chicken with Vegetable Ragout and Polenta

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 78: Chicken with Vegetable Ragout and Polenta

This is a guest post by my good friend that I like to call Spooner. She has the most adorable baby named Jonas (a tribute to the band Weezer? It's possible). Thanks Jen, you're the best! This looks great.

Chicken with Vegetable Ragout and Polenta (from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Slow Cooker Recipes 2, page 32)

Prep: 8 minutes
Cook Low: 4-5 hours
Servings: 6


3 c frozen primavera vegetable medley
1 can (14 oz) artichoke quarters in water, drained
1 tsp garlic salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
6 chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
1 jar (14 oz) pasta sauce
1/4 c dry sherry
1 tsp crushed garlic
3 T tomato paste
1 tube (24 oz) pre-cooked polenta, sliced 1/2-inch thick
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

1. In a 5-quart slow cooker, combine frozen vegetable medley and artichokes
2. In a small bowl, combine garlic salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with mixture. Place chicken in slow cooker on top of vegetables
3. In a large bowl, stir together pasta sauce, sherry, garlic, and tomato paste. Pour over chicken and vegetables. Top with polenta slices.
4. Cover and cook on low setting for 4-5 hours. Serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese.
Modifications.
* Chicken broth in place of dry sherry
* Cut chicken breasts in half (to encourage smaller portions) and tenderized (worth the extra time)
* Chopped 2 garlic cloves
* Doubled Italian seasoning (it was too zesty for my husband, but perfect for me)
* Made my own polenta, since I prefer it baked For next time.
* Cook the chicken, preferably on the grill, but a pan will do.
* Make the polenta pizza-style, with sauteed peppers, mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil
Review.
The recipe is basic and pretty easy. It tasted better as leftovers the next day because the seasonings had a chance to mix. We served it with spaghetti and because the chicken was so tender, it shred easily. 4 stars.

In case you are interested...
Baked Polenta
3/4 c cornmeal (if you mill your own, that is about 1/2 c popcorn)
1/2 c cold water
1/2 c boiling water
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c Parmesan
Preheat oven to 375º.
Grease pie plate.
Stir cornmeal and cold water until well mixed. Add to boiling water and cook over low heat, stirring until thick, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in salt and Parmesan. Pour into pie plate.
Bake at 375º for 30 minutes.

(If I were to do the pizza, I would follow the same instructions. Then I would reduce the heat to 350º and add the veggies and cheese)

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