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Braised Chicken Thighs and Artichokes with Polenta

Braised Chicken Thighs and Artichokes with Polenta

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Braised chicken thighs and baby artichokes over polenta make for a warm and comforting dish perfect for these cool months.

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There are a lot of great flavors and textures going on in this dish. Crispy chicken skin and juicy meat, earthy artichokes, sweet onions and briny olives. Oh and I can’t forget the polenta. I really love the sweet, creamy polenta paired with this dish.

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This braised chicken dish would also be great with a potato puree or even rice, so go with your favorite option. Whatever your preference, this dish is worth a try!

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Braised Chicken Thighs & Artichokes with Polenta

Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup medium-ground yellow corn meal
  • 2 cups homemade or low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup parmigiano reggiano freshly grated
  • 2 tbsp butter sliced
  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium sweet onion finely chopped
  • 1-2 pinches hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed but intact
  • 2 lb baby artichokes trimmed and cut in half
  • ½ cup olives of choice pitted and roughly chopped (I used cerignola)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ cups or as needed homemade or low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp butter sliced
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

Instructions
 

  • For polenta, heat stock and milk in a small pot to a rapid simmer. Whisk in polenta, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring every 8-10 minutes, for a total of 40-50 minutes or until tender and creamy. Add additional water (up to a cup or so), as needed, while cooking to maintain desired consistency.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • While polenta is cooking, season chicken generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat an oven-safe, nonstick pan over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of oil, followed by the chicken, skin-side down. Slowly render chicken fat and brown skin, about 15-18 minutes. Reduce heat, as needed, to prevent burning.
  • Flip and increase heat. Cook about 2-4 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add onions to pan and, season with salt and red pepper flakes. Cook slowly so onions sweeten and caramelize without taking on much color. Cook a total of 20-30 minutes, lowering heat to medium-low after about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add garlic and sauté during last minute of cooking. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Add remaining two tablespoons of oil to the pan. Increase heat to medium to medium-high. Add artichokes, cut-side down. Season with salt. Cook about 2-3 minutes per side or until browned.
  • Add back onions. Stir in olives. Add wine and reduce to about 2-3 tablespoons.
  • Add ½ cup stock. Simmer about 8-12 minutes to par-cook the artichokes.
  • Nestle chicken back into pan. Add 1 more cup of stock or enough to go ¾ way up the chicken, making sure not to wet the skin. Bring to a simmer.
  • Transfer pan to the oven. Cook about 20-30 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Remove chicken from pan. Bring juices in the pan to a simmer. Reduce for about 5-10 minutes or until thickened. Swirl in butter to emulsify. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if needed.
  • Serve chicken over the polenta with the artichokes and sauce. Enjoy.
  • NOTES:
  • To trim artichokes, set up a bowl with cold water and several lemons squeezed into it. Using a paring knife, pull off outer leaves until you reach the tender, inner leaves. Trim off the top ½ inch of artichoke. Peel off thin outer layer of bottom stem. Rub trimmed artichoke on the inside of a cut half of lemon. Transfer to lemon water. When all artichokes are trimmed, remove from water, pat dry and slice in half lengthwise.
  • Proportion wise, this is a veggie and polenta heavy dish. If you prefer more chicken, I suggest doubling the amount of chicken (8 thighs) and cutting back on the artichokes (1 1/2 lbs), onions (1/2) and polenta (2/3 cup) and adjusting the other ingredients, as needed.
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