Chicken Bolognese with Creamy Garlicky Polenta

With our first cold snap of the season, thoughts of a big bowl of warm comfort food comes to mind.  But, you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, nor need a ton of ingredients to create that big ol’ hug in a bowl…as well as giving it a different and tasty spin!

My Bolognese uses frozen chopped veggies, which saves tons of prep time, and a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies adds another layer of flavor.  Of course, the touch of wine doesn’t hurt either!!  My favorite part of this recipe is the polenta.  I love serving the Bolognese over it as opposed to a standard pasta.  It gives the dish additional flavor, texture and just seems a bit fancy!

Chicken Bolognese with Creamy Garlicky Polenta

Chicken Bolognese with Creamy Garlicky Polenta

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup frozen seasoning blend chopped vegetables (onions, celery, green & red bell pepper)
1/2 pound ground chicken
14.5 ounce can petite cut diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/4 cup red wine
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil, divided
1 cup milk, plus up to 1/2 additional cup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup fast cooking polenta
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons finely shredded parmesan cheese, divided
Additional finely shredded parmesan cheese, minced fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil for garnish

Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the frozen vegetables and cook until heated through, approximately 2 – 3 minutes. Add in 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and the ground chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked through, approximately 3 – 4 minutes, breaking up the chicken into small pieces as it cooks. Stir in the diced tomatoes with juices, red wine and 1 tablespoon basil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook at a low boil for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When Bolognese has cooked approximately 20 minutes, prepare the polenta.

Place the 1 cup milk, garlic powder, and remaining 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat just until it is about to boil. Stir in the polenta and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken, approximately 3 – 4 minutes. Stir in the 1/3 cup parmesan, and 1 tablespoon basil. Stir in enough milk (from the additional 1/2 cup) to loosen to desired creamy consistency.

When ready to serve, stir into the Bolognese the remaining 1 tablespoon basil and remaining 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese.

To serve, spoon polenta evenly into two serving bowls, top with the Bolognese. Garnish with additional shredded parmesan cheese and minced fresh basil; drizzle each with about 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.

Serves 2

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