Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Make a Meal: Chicken with Pomegranate-Sage Reduction and Goat Cheese Polenta

Foodie friends, I'm going to let you in on a little secret, if you haven't found it by now, there is a fabulous little resource you must check out called Gojee! It is a haven of recipes for you to browse, like online shopping but FREE. After creating your account, you are able to set your preferences such as likes, dislikes, what you have on hand and what you are craving. You can search a database of contributing bloggers with amazing recipes to showcase. I came across this little gem and a fun new blog, In Sock Monkey Slippers, from which this recipe comes.

Moving on to this recipe post.... long title, I know. Let me guess, you think this sounds complicated and pretentious. Many would, but I saw it as a challenge! I love words like reduction and when multiple-ingredients-are-hyphenated-in-a-recipe-title. For whatever reason, that wards others off. Let me assure you, this is really easy! It doesn't take any time at all, in fact, I labeled it as "Low Stress God Bless" and will stand by 30 minutes or less. The only thing I would change: I expected the reduction to thicken a bit as it reduced. If I could do it over, I would add a thickening agent such as a teeny tiny bit of cornstarch or arrowroot to help create more of a syrupy consistency. Otherwise, it was perfect. This was a delicious dish that I now challenge you to prepare and enjoy like we did.

Grocery List:
For the Chicken and Pom-Sage Reduction
  • 4 Chicken halves (or cutlets)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups Pomegranate juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
For the Goat Cheese Polenta
  • 4 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 cup uncooked polenta (yellow corn meal)
  •  4 oz. goat cheese crumbles
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup milk (optional, use to help with your preferred consistency)
In a sauce pan, bring your Pom juice to a simmer and let reduce by half for about 15 minutes. I completely neglected, by utter accident, the rest of the Pom-reduction pictures,  forgive me. All you need to know is reduce the juice for 15, then add the chopped sage and let it sit on low heat until ready to serve. I would recommend experimenting with a thickening agent (such as corn starch or arrow root, perhaps even honey), as mentioned above, because this did not get "syrupy" and I would have liked a thicker glaze.

In a pot, add your water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down heat and begin to pour in the polenta, whisking well to prevent from clumping. Many polenta recipes tell you to stir it continuously for 15 minutes but let's be honest, there are other things you need to do and constant stirring could just bring on early feelings of arthritis in your wrist, so it's okay to step away but stir frequently for 15 minutes to avoid lumps.

In between the stirring, you learn to multi-task. Lightly prepare your chicken pieces with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Using a griddle pan, begin to cook your chicken on medium-high heat to make some gorgeous grill marks. Cook on each side for about 6 minutes then flip (longer if you have thicker cuts of chicken).

Now, back to the polenta. It's time to add your goat cheese. I bought a 4 oz. tub of crumbles and added 1/2 of it, stirred it in, then added the rest slowly until it reached perfection. Keep heat on medium.

Now, you add your salt and olive oil.

Once it is well combined and your chicken is ready, it's dinner time folks. Served with simple sauteed green beans, glob a heaping helping of polenta on a plate, lightly place your chicken, and top with the pom-sage reduction. Cue the taste buds chorus and let sing.... enjoy!

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