Tested and Perfected by Food and Wine

Chicken and Polenta Stew

  • SERVINGS: 4
  • FAST
  • HEALTHY

Jan Newberry first tasted this comforting cornmeal-enriched stew at the home of an Italian-born friend, Angelo Garro, who's one of the finest cooks she knows. She has added chicken to make the dish a meal, but it's equally delicious without it.

  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  5. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 1 pound kale, stems discarded, leaves cut into thin strips
  7. 8 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  8. 1 cup yellow polenta (not instant)
  9. 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into thin strips
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring often, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the kale, cover and cook until wilted, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken stock to the casserole and bring to a boil over high heat. Gradually add the polenta in a thin steady stream, stirring constantly. Lower the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the polenta thickens, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chicken and simmer until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Notes One Serving Calories 434 kcal, Total Fat 12.3 gm, Saturated Fat 3 gm.

Suggested Pairing

The kale adds a green note to this thick chicken stew, suggesting a dry white wine with an assertive edge of its own—ideally a Pinot Grigio.