Stinky Polenta, Roast Chicken, Crispy Kale, Red Wine Balsamic Demi

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 5 servings
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Roast Chicken:

5 skin-on chicken breasts

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil, for coating the pan

Red Wine Balsamic Demi:

Extra-virgin olive oil, for sweating the vegetables

3 sprigs fresh thyme 

2 bay leaves 

1 carrot, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 onion, diced

1 bottle red wine 

1 cup balsamic vinegar 

1 cup dark chicken stock

2 tablespoons tomato paste 

2 tablespoons sugar 

Stinky Polenta:

4 cups dark chicken stock

2 cups polenta 

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter

4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

4 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

4 ounces mascarpone 

1 tablespoon white truffle oil 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crispy Kale:

Canola oil, for frying

2 bunches kale, julienned


  1. For the roast chicken: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Put a cast-iron pan over high heat until hot. Coat the pan with olive oil, add the chicken skin-side down and cook until the skin is crispy, about 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet fitted with a rack. Roast until cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes depending on size.
  3. For the red wine balsamic demi: In a saucepan over high heat, add a little olive oil. Add the thyme, bay leaves, carrots, celery and onions and sweat the vegetables about 5 minutes. Deglaze with the red wine, then add the balsamic and dark chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Add the tomato paste and reduce to a simmer. Add the sugar and simmer to reduce the sauce to a glaze consistency, 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and reserve.
  4. For the stinky polenta: Bring the dark chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan. Using a whisk, slowly incorporate the polenta into the stock, stirring vigorously. When fully incorporated, lower the heat to simmer. Cook, stirring frequently to make sure the polenta doesn't burn, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. For the crispy kale: Pour enough canola oil into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan to come about a third of the way up. Heat the oil until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 325 degrees F.
  6. Add the julienned kale to the oil and fry about 2 minutes; the kale should still be very green and crisp, not brown at all. Drain on paper towels and set aside for garnish.
  7. To finish the polenta: Add the butter, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano-Reggiano, mascarpone and additional water or the chicken cooking juices if needed. Finish with the white truffle oil and add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. To plate, spoon about 3 tablespoons of the glaze into 5 wide bowls. Put some polenta on top. Slice each chicken breast and put on top of the polenta. Garnish with crispy kale and serve.