Here is what I decided to make instead of mashed potatoes. I remembered I had polenta in my pantry and thought that it would go nicely with my chicken. This is another recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell. I guess today is Anne Burrell Day at my house!
Anne's Soft Parmigiano Polenta
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
1 cup long cooking polenta
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese (or butter is a good substitute)
1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning (optional)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder (optional)
black pepper to taste (optional)
In a medium size saucepan, bring the milk, water and bay leaf to a boil. Season generously with salt, almost to the point of over seasoning. How do you know that you are there? TASTE IT! When it has reached a boil, slowly whisk in the polenta in small sprinkles. Once all of the polenta has been incorporated, reduce heat to medium and immediately switch over to stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook the polenta for 30 to 40 minutes, adding water if the polenta becomes too thick to loosen it up.
When the polenta is thoroughly cooked, it should look creamy and not feel gritty on your tongue. Remove it from the heat and stir in the Parmigiano and mascarpone (or butter and optional spices). Serve it immediately, or place a sheet of plastic wrap right on the surface of the polenta to prevent a skin from forming on the top.
To reheat: Add a little water to the polenta and heat over low to medium heat stirring constantly to prevent burning.
I don't have mascarpone cheese, so I think I will improvise by mixing in butter. I will let you know how it turns out!
I will post both the review for the chicken and polenta here, since this was the latest post published. This dinner was fantastic! It totally made up for last night's bad dinner by tenfold. The chicken was perfectly cooked and flavorful. The polenta was creamy and cheesy. Yum. I did add some additional items to the polenta. I updated the recipe ingredients list and just notated my changes as optional. I need to go grocery shopping, so I am all out of basic staple items (like garlic cloves). I had to make my adjustments based on my available pantry items. Next time, I will skip the garlic powder and put in a clove of fresh minced garlic instead. Also, the butter was great, and I really did not miss the mascarpone. I did not have enough guts to try sour cream or cream cheese, becuase I thought it would have made the flavor a bit strange. I did not feel like living dangerously, and just kept with what I knew would work. I used about 3 tablespoons of butter and it turned out great! My 2 1/2 year old kept saying..."um, um, um...polenta". It was very cute.
Instead of a new vegetable I just served our leftover corn and peas combo. Lazy, yes...but completely easy. Also, I love roasted onions...I put those on the side,too. Overall, this was a perfect meal! Time consuming, but totally worth it.