Becky Luigart-Stayner; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
6 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup polenta, 1 chicken thigh, 2/3 cup tomato mixture, and about 1 1/2 teaspoons gremolata)

In this chicken version of traditional osso buco, chicken thighs are simmered in a heady tomato sauce, then sprinkled with zesty gremolata and served on a bed of Gruyère-laced polenta.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare chicken, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan.

Step 2

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and 2 garlic cloves. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, tomato, basil, and rosemary; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 15 minutes.

Step 3

Return chicken to pan. Cover and simmer 35 minutes or until chicken is done. Uncover and cook 5 minutes or until tomato mixture thickens.

Step 4

To prepare polenta, combine milk and broth in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; gradually add instant polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Step 5

To prepare gremolata, combine parsley, rind, and 1 garlic clove. Serve chicken mixture over polenta; sprinkle with gremolata.

Chef's Notes

Chicken thighs stand in well for veal shanks in osso buco; their higher fat content, compared to other chicken parts, lets them hold up to long cooking or braising.

Ratings & Reviews

Outrageously Good

April 11, 2016
Prepared this recipe, substituting canned tomatoes for fresh (all I had on hand) and Gouda for the Gruyere.  Next time hope to be able to use fresh tomatoes.  And would probably debone the thighs before cooking, perhaps using cooking string for them to hold their shape.  It was a little awkward eating the dish with the bone in.  It was surprisingly easy to prepare, even with all the many steps and ingredients and the flavors were outstanding.  I would be happy to serve this to guests, and probably will.

JessicaJJM's Review

October 14, 2014
I thought it was really good. I didn't rate it for a special occasion or outstanding. I think its awesome as a week night family meal in the fall. Made as directed. Wonderful combo of flavors.

mayla2326's Review

August 10, 2014

SingaporeKel's Review

March 18, 2014
Family couldn't get enough of this--easily 2 small thighs each so I would double the recipe next time. I made a few changes based on what I had on hand- used canned tomatoes but am willing to try fresh next time, used 4 three inch sprigs of fresh rosemary and used about 3 tablespoons of fresh basil. I served it with Cooks Illustrated basic (almost no stir) risotto recipe (instead of the polenta) and green beans. Excellent meal and my house smelled divine.

koriander's Review

February 28, 2014
I really liked this, but my husband thought it was OK. I was surprised by how layered the flavors were, since its a very simple dish ingredient wise. Only changes I made was using Montreal chicken season on the chicken in addition to the salt and pepper. My husband doesn't like polenta, so I used mashed potatoes. I had a value pack of chicken thighs, so I had about 10 thighs simmering. I am looking forward to my lunch leftovers.

sprater1's Review

November 04, 2013
Family loved it, especially my grade school kids. I did cook more chicken thighs as mine were so small. Great flavor and I didn't make any changes to the recipe. With prep time figure between 1.5 hours to 2 hours of prep + cook time. Definitely a Sunday dinner kind of recipe!

MeganJessup's Review

June 18, 2013
I have eaten Osso Buco at many high end italian restaurants and I was really impressed with this dish. My husband and I are trying to leave out carbs in our diet so I did not make the polenta. The chicken was tender and delicious on its own, but the gremolata added an extra zing to the depth of flavors. I did sprinkle a little of the Gruyère cheese on top of the chicken but other than that, cooked as the recipe called for. Don't pass this one up!

LadyAlethea's Review

February 06, 2013
This was absolutely delightful. This was delicious on its own, but the gremolata added a seriously zing to the depth of flavors and it countered the richness of the polenta, making a perfectly balanced meal. The only change I made was to use canned tomatoes (3 cans of no-salt diced) because I had a serious overstock of them and needed to use them. Next time, I think I'll use fresh all across the board (tomatoes and herbs) and maybe try a whole chicken and see how that works out. My entire family went back for seconds; this is definitely going into our regular rotation! ***EDIT 5/26/13*** I made this again with fresh ingredients across the board... DEFINITELY makes a difference!!! Worth the work to cut up the tomatoes. Yum!!

reagangirl's Review

December 12, 2012
This was absolutely delicious. I didn't use instant polenta. Made polenta (bob's red mill) and used the instructions on the box and added the cheese in at the end. It would outstanding, especially the osso buco. Definitely plan on making again.

rstarrlemaitre's Review

October 19, 2012
The polenta was incredibly creamy and delicious. Loved the bite of the raw garlic/lemon rind in the gremolata - an unexpected flavor. A very hearty, wonderfully Italian dinner.