Dinner Is Served: Polenta
So, I like to cook … sometimes. But I have to cook most of the time because of my family’s food allergies and intolerances. Polenta might sound fancy because that’s the Italian word for it, but really it’s just corn meal … grits. And this is a dinner I can make for my family whether it’s one of those I-actually-feel-like-cooking nights or not. It’s warm, savory, and comforting, and doesn’t take a lot of time. Plus you can add any vegetable you like — I used shredded carrots. Even my kids eat it!
3 to 4 boneless chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. each dried oregano, basil and thyme
1/2 cup cooking wine
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup corn meal
cheese (I used Daiya brand non-dairy cheese)
field greens or other garnish
seasonings to taste
Set your Crock Pot on low and add the chicken, tomatoes, wine, herbs, and carrots. Stir it up and try to submerge the chicken. Cook for about six hours; check for done-ness. Shred the chicken with a fork, then mix.
Now make the polenta. Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a pot, then add 1 cup of corn meal. (Add salt and pepper to taste; I add a little onion powder.) Lower the heat and simmer about 10 minutes or until the corn meal is thick. Spoon into four bowls and let the corn meal harden. Then, invert the bowl onto a plate and transfer the polenta to the plate. Top with cheese, then ladle a large scoop of the chicken mixture from the Crock Pot over the top of the cheese. Garnish with field greens if you like.
You can make this in so many different ways: with or without chicken, a different kind of meat, different vegetables. You can keep the polenta in the bowls if you don’t want extra dirty dishes! Make it your own.
Serves four, with leftover Crock Pot mixture to turn into soup, top a baked potato, or to top more polenta!