Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hunters Stew and Creamy Polenta

I made this last night and it was wonderful. The original recipe came from and I had to tweak it a little to make it allergy friendly. This could easily become our new favorite dish.

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Hunter’s Chicken is found across Northern Italy, with many variations. This version uses meaty bone-in chicken things and is full of onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. It’s also delicious served over egg noodles.
Makes 8 servings


TOTAL TIME: 2 1/2 hours


2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used Bob's Redmill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Mix)
12 bone-in chicken thighs (about 4 pounds), skin removed, trimmed
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
1 cup dry white wine or vermouth (I was out of Vegan wine so I subbed Gluten free/Dairy Free chicken broth here)
1 1/2 pounds button mushrooms, halved or quartered, depending on size
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth (We like Pacific brand but any Gluten Free/Dairy free brand will work
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 3/4 teaspoon dried
1 1/3 cups cornmeal (make sure it's gluten free)
6 cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil

1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until the onions are very soft and translucent, 2 to 4 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a bowl; set aside. Remove the pot from the heat.
2. Place gluten free flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour. Gently shake off any excess.
3. Cook the chicken in 2 batches in the Dutch oven, using 1 tablespoon oil for each batch. Cook over medium-high heat, turning once, until browned on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
4. Pour wine (or vermouth or chicken broth) into the pot and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms, tomatoes, broth, bay leaves and rosemary. Return the reserved onions to the pan. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices, making sure each piece is partially submerged. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover the pan and cook, gently stirring once or twice, until the chicken is very tender, about 1 hour.
5. Meanwhile, combine cornmeal, water and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Partially cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and very creamy, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, while you finish the stew.
6. Remove the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Bring the liquid in the pan to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Skim or blot any visible fat from the surface. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the pan.
7. Gently stir in basil. Serve the stew over the polenta.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 431 calories; 17 g fat (4 g sat, 8 g mono); 101 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrate; 33 g protein; 3 g fiber; 706 mg sodium; 794 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Potassium (23% daily value), Iron (20% dv), Magnesium & Vitamin C (15% dv).
2 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 1 fat

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Make polenta (Step 5) about 1 hour before serving. Prepare stew through Step 6. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Reheat stew and stir in basil (Step 7).

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