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Braised Mediterranean Chicken with Polenta

This dark-meat chicken dish simmers in tomatoes, white wine and oregano before it is poured over creamy polenta.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, September 2009


  • 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


  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. 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. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine 4 1/2 cups water, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 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.

Cook's Notes

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. 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.

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