Chicken Scarpiello with Soft Parmigiano Polenta
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 chicken, cut into 4 pieces ( chicken breast with drumattached, cut in half, thigh and leg)
- Kosher salt
- 8 ounces fennel sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup hot cherry pepper juice, from the jar
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock, plus a little more if needed
- 4 or 5 quartered hot cherry peppers
- 1 sprig fresh oregano, leaves picked and chopped
- Soft Parmigiano Polenta, recipe follows
- Soft Parmigiano Polenta:
- 2 cups milk
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup quick cooking polenta
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
Coat a large, wide pan with olive oil and bring the pan to a medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken generously with salt and add to the pan, skin-side down, in an even layer. Brown the chicken well on both sides.
Once the chicken is brown on all sides, remove it from the pan and reserve. Drain the oil from the pan and return it to the heat. Coat the pan lightly with new olive oil. Add the sausage to the pan that the chicken was browned in. Brown the sausage well.
Add the cherry pepper juice and wine to the pan and reduce it by half. While the wine is reducing, scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken, skin-side up, to the pan and add the chicken stock and cherry peppers. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for 5 more minutes; add more chicken stock if the stock has reduced too much. Stir in the oregano just before serving.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. The finished dish should be slightly soupy, spicy and delicious. Serve over the Soft Parmigiano Polenta.Soft Parmigiano Polenta:
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk, 2 cups water and the bay leaf to a boil. Season generously with salt, almost to the point of over seasoning. How do you know that you are there? TASTE IT!
When it has reached a boil, slowly whisk in the polenta in small sprinkles. Once all of the polenta has been incorporated, reduce the heat to medium and immediately switch over to stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook the polenta for 5 minutes over medium, medium-low, adding water if the polenta becomes too thick to loosen it up.
When the polenta is thoroughly cooked, it should look creamy and not feel gritty on your tongue. Remove it from the heat and stir in the Parmigiano and mascarpone. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve immediately, or place a sheet of plastic wrap right on the surface of the polenta to prevent a skin from forming on the top. To reheat, add a little water to the polenta and heat over low to medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
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