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Friday, January 30, 2015

{Crock Pot Italian Chicken over Polenta}

 Oh, Hello All!  It has been a while and I have to say I am glad to be back sharing a recipe with you!  Wedding to do lists are consuming my mind, and the planning meetings are starting up again!  I may or may not be running around like a mad women!   I am moving full steam ahead and fired up and ready to go!  And even though it is a crazy busy time I am excited and jittery (like I have little butterflies in my stomach).  I can hardly wait till April 11th and am thankful that time is moving quickly!  I am even more excited that 2015 is here... It is wedding year!

Lately, (like the entire month of January) I have been looking for the quickest, simplest and  yes healthiest dinner options/recipes!  I find that after working all day, completing a workout and crossing to do’s of my checklist that I just do not have the energy to make a full blown meal! I have been resorting to steamed veggies, grilled chicken, scrambled egg whites and giant yogurt bowls – I know not the most exciting!  But, I have to say that blah boring same old same old dinners took a back seat with this easy Italian Crock Pot Chicken with Polenta!  I got the recipe idea from the recent issue of Cooking Light, but since I am not a huge pork eater I made my own minor (yes, minor) tweaks!

End results… totally drool worthy, tender chicken that packed a flavor punch!   The original recipe (found here) served the stewed meat over a creamy polenta but if you like you can serve the chicken over polenta “steaks” seared in olive oil to soak up all the delicious crock pot juice!  Yum, yum, YUM!  Make this tonight, it might just become your next crock pot staple meal!

Italian Crock Pot Chicken over Polenta
Brunch N’Cupcakes – Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 5-6

2 Large Chicken Breast
2 – 15 Ounce Cans Diced Tomatoes with Basil and Garlic
½ Large Onion – Roughly Chopped
½ Medium Red Pepper – Roughly Chopped
8 Garlic Cloves – Minced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley and Oregano
1 Teaspoon Rosemary and Thyme

1 1/2 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth (Low Sodium)
2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 Cup Instant Polenta 
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Milk 
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
1 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper 
Salt to Taste

1-      In a large crockpot combine canned tomatoes (undrained), broth, onion, pepper, garlic and spices (Parsley, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme and Teaspoon of Pepper).  Stir until well combined
2-      Add chicken breast to crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
3-      Once chicken is fully cooked, remove chicken from crockpot and shred.  Add chicken back into crockpot.  Stir to combine.  Stir in Worstershire sauce and balsamic vinegar.  

For the Polenta: 
Combine water, milk and polenta into a medium sauce pan.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low add polenta and whisk together.  Cook for 4 minutes.  Remove polenta from heat stir in parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  

For Serving: 
Serve Italian chicken of polenta in shallow bowls - or plates like I did!