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

Outstanding Flavor

October 18, 2017
I made this using fresh from the garden veggies, used basil pesto and boneless skinless thighs. Flavors were great, it was easy and rather quick to make. I will make this again in the NEAR future.


March 18, 2018
Nice way to do chicken! I didn't make the polenta: a personal preference. I served with mashed potatoes and mustard greens. I used fresh tomatoes, fresh rosemary& a little dried because my plant is still growing. I used fresh oregano, dried basil, and a little thyme. 

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!

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.

Jennifer26's Review

August 14, 2011
This was good, although I probably won't make it again. It wasn't quite as flavorful as I expected. I thought I had rosemary, but I didn't, so I used thyme instead. I made the gremolata, but forgot to use it. I do prefer breasts, but I wanted to make something with dark meat for my dad. He seemed to like it more than I did. I did like the polenta. I might make that again.

Cuisinia's Review

February 21, 2011
This was excellent and comforting for a cold, rainy night. Served w/ baby green beans that I topped off with a little of the sauce. The gremolata kicked up the flavor and made it outstanding.

LauraLeigh8's Review

April 17, 2011
Fantastic! I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out beautifully. The gremalota really made it into something special. Can't wait to have this again.

jharned12's Review

March 18, 2010
Delicious! I substituted 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes for fresh and grated parmesan for guyere. Husband loved it! Don't skip the gremolata--adds a wonderful fresh, unexpected taste.

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!!