Notes: To save time, you can use purchased cooked polenta, often sold refrigerated in cylinders in supermarkets (near the cheese). Skip step 4; instead, cut cylinder crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, lay on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and broil 4 to 6 inches from heat until lightly browned, or grill oiled rounds. In step 5, arrange polenta rounds on plates and top with chicken cacciatore.
Sunset JANUARY 2002
1. Rinse chicken and pat dry; remove and discard excess fat.
2. Pour olive oil into a 5- to 6-quart nonstick pan over high heat; when hot, add chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add onion, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic to pan; stir often until mushrooms begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, rosemary, and the chicken with any accumulated juices; bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn chicken over and simmer, covered, until no longer pink in center of thickest part (cut to test), about 5 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Meanwhile, in a 3- to 4-quart pan, stir broth and polenta until well blended. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often; reduce heat to low and stir often until polenta is creamy and smooth to bite, 8 to 12 minutes (about 3 minutes for cornmeal).
5. Spoon polenta into wide bowls or onto rimmed plates. Top with equal portions of chicken and sauce; sprinkle with parsley. Add parmesan cheese and more salt and pepper to taste.
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