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Rania’s Recipes: Skillet Braised Chicken & Fried Polenta

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(Photo Courtesy of Rania Harris)

(Photo Courtesy of Rania Harris)

If you’re looking for some new tasty dishes to try out in your home, be sure to give these two recipes from Rania Harris a look!

Skillet Braised Chicken with Bella Mushrooms

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)
  • Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for sautéing the chicken
  • 1 pound baby Bella mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced 1/2-inch-thick
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Basil sprigs for garnishing the chicken

Directions

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Using the Cuisinart Green Gourmet Electric 14-inch Skillet, heat a small amount of the olive oil ~ the temperature should be set to 375 degrees. Add chicken, and cook until light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; set aside.

Add a small amount of olive oil to skillet. Add mushrooms and garlic, and season with salt. Cover; and cook over medium heat until mushrooms release their juices, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove lid. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add wine, and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 1 minute. Add broth and basil, cook over medium-high heat until mushrooms are tender and liquid is reduced, 8 to 10 minutes.

Return chicken to skillet. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve chicken topped with mushrooms, and drizzled with cooking liquid. Garnish with sprigs of basil.

Serves: 4

Fried Polenta

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil + olive oil to grease the springform pan
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated Fontina cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
  • Olive oil for frying the polenta wedges

Directions:

Grease a 9-inch cake with removable bottom with olive oil.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, and basil and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the salt and pepper and sauté for another 30 seconds.

Stir in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the Fontina and Parmesan, just until the cheeses melt. Whisk in the cornmeal slowly, a little at a time, until the mixture has the consistency of a thick roux. Remove from the heat, and working quickly, spoon the mixture into the greased pan, spreading it and packing it down before it sets. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove the polenta from the refrigerator and remove it from the pan. Cut it into 8 wedges. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the wedges of polenta and fry until golden brown, for about 1 minute on each side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.

Serves: 8

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