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Braised Mediterranean Chicken with Polenta

Polenta should be thick but fluid. It will thicken more as it stands, so if you'd like to make it in advance, thin it with a bit of water before serving.

  • prep: 45 mins
    total time: 45 mins
  • servings: 4




  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved if large
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cook's Note

For a richer polenta, use chicken broth instead of water and stir in 1/3 cup grated Italian cheese, such as Parmesan, at the end of the cooking.


  1. Step 1

    In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in two batches, cook chicken until browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat and return pot to heat.

  2. Step 2

    Add garlic, tomatoes, and oregano; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and cook, scraping up browned bits, until almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Add broth; return chicken, skin side up, to pot. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 15 minutes. Add zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cover; simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.

  3. Step 3

    Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine 4 1/2 cups water, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Whisking constantly, slowly add cornmeal. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking frequently, until polenta has thickened, 20 to 25 minutes; whisk in butter. Serve chicken and vegetables over polenta.

Everyday Food, September 2009



Reviews (2)

  • 5 Dec, 2010

    I have made this for my family, and I have made it for dinner parties. It never disappoints. Delicious to the last morsel!

  • 1 Mar, 2010

    This was wonderful, entire family loved it. The only thing I did different was I cooked the cornmeal in chicken stock and omitted the salt..