Monday, January 2, 2012

Make Ahead Meals: Creamy Chicken with Soft Polenta

I have been looking forward to this post for a while!  This chicken recipe is by far my favorite thing that I make from this collection.  The ingredients work together flawlessly and it comes together surprisingly quickly.  I had never worked with polenta before this and had only eaten it once or twice so I was very curious as to how this would go.  Polenta may actually be the easiest starch I have ever worked with.  It takes three minutes to make and as long as you don't have an attention span problem and can focus on it for three minutes, it is very easy to make.  If you do wander away from it, it can become lumpy, so dedicate those three minutes and you will be glad you did.
This recipe is not for the calorie faint of heart as it does involve heavy cream and is just all over luxurious.  As always you can alter this recipe to your heart's desire.  I love mushrooms but not everyone does, so you could substitute some other element in for the mushrooms or skip them all together.  I also really love the roasted butternut squash in this dish but keep in mind that it does sweeten it along with the heavy cream, so if you don't like to mix sweet and savory, you may want to omit or sub them as well.  It also calls for peas which I'm not a huge fan of but I have found that frozen peas lately are getting a lot better, so the choice is yours.  The end of the recipe calls for fontina to be added to the polenta but it doesn't give a measurement or even mention it in the ingredient list so I have used any number of cheeses in varying amounts in it's place.  Really whatever grate-able cheese you like will be very nice and you can put in as much as you want as long as you keep stirring until smooth.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as our family does!

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