Sunday, May 15, 2005

Chicken Ragu with Polenta

Chicken Ragu with Polenta (Adapted from Rachael Ray)

For the polenta

2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and fresh ground black pepper

For the ragu

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 pounds coarsely ground chicken
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
28 ounce can fire-roasted whole tomatoes

To prepare the polenta

In a large saucepan, bring broth and milk to a boil. Gradually whisk in cornmeal - reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, stirring often, until the polenta has softened and thickened, about 50 to 60 minutes.

To prepare the ragu

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat oil and butter over medium-high. Add chicken - season with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper - cook, stirring to crumble, until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in rosemary, garlic, onions, carrots, celery and bay leaf - cook until the onions have softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in tomato paste - cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in red wine - cook, stirring to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom for the pan, for 1 minute. Pour in stock and tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon, for 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

When polenta is ready, remove from the heat and stir in butter, cheese and parsley - season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve ragu over polenta. Shred additional cheese over each plate just before serving.

Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

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  1. Looks perfect for a cold November evening. Will leftovers of the ragu freeze do you think?