February 3, 2010

Fresh Tomato and Basil Chicken over Creamy Polenta

4 c. chicken stock or broth
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 6oz. boneless skinless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 large red onion sliced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 c. quick cooking polenta
1/2 c. mascarpone cheese
1/4 c. grated parmigiano-reggiano
1/2 pint yellow grape tomatoes
1/2 pint red grape tomatoes
20 fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn

For the creamy polenta, bring 3 c. of chicken stock to a boil in a sauce pot. If the chicken stock is at a boil before you are ready to add the polenta, just turn it down low and let it wait for you.
While the stock is coming to a boil, start the fresh tomato and basil chicken. Heat a large nonstick skillet over med high heat with the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, add to the hot skillet, and cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until chicken is lightly browned.  Scoot the chicken over to the edge of the skillet, then add onions and garlic continuing to cook for 3 minutes more. Add the remaining cup of chicken stock and cook until reduced by half, another 3-4 minutes.

While the sauce is reducing, whisk the quick-cooking polenta into the boiling chicken stock in the sauce pot until it masses. Stir in the mascarpone cheese and the parmigiana and season with salt and pepper. you want the polenta to be slightly loose. If it gets too tight, stir in some more stock to loosen it up a little.

To finish the chicken, add the yellow and red grape tomatoes, stir to combine, and continue  to cook for about 1-2 minutes or until the tomatoes are heated through and starting to burst. Add the basil and toss with the chicken and tomatoes.
Serve the polenta in shallow bowls and top with the fresh tomato and basil chicken.

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