You can buy packages of cornmeal labeled polenta in specialty food stores, but we find that regular yellow cornmeal worksâ€”and tastesâ€”equally good.
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3â„4 teaspoon salt
1â„4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 medium chicken leg quarters (21â„4 pounds), skin and fat removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1â„2 cup dry white wine
1 can (141â„2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1â„2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
4 strips (3" by 1" each) fresh lemon peel
6 sprigs fresh thyme plus additional for garnish
21â„4 cups whole milk
1 can (14 to 141â„2 ounces) chicken Broth or
13â„4 cups Chicken Broth
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut into pieces 1â„8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Prepare chicken: On waxed paper, combine flour, 1â„2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Use to coat chicken legs shaking off excess.
In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add legs and cook, turning over once, until browned, 10 to 12 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer legs to plate.
To drippings in skillet, add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine; boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, olives, lemon peel, 6 thyme sprigs, and remaining 1â„4 teaspoon salt. Return legs with any accumulated juices to skillet, stirring to coat; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer just until juices run clear when thickest part of leg is pierced with tip of knife, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare soft polenta: In 3-quart nonreactive saucepan, heat milk and broth to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; gradually whisk in cornmeal. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is very thick, about 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in butter and pepper.
Remove lemon peel and thyme sprigs from chicken mixture. Divide polenta among 4 dinner plates; top each with 1 chicken leg and some sauce. Garnish with remaining thyme sprigs. Makes 4 maindish Servings
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