I’ve tried to replicate a dish that I devoured as a teenager. A friends Italian father fed us with a delicious fall off the bone chicken braised in tomato dish and served it with crispy grilled polenta. It was so delicious, I couldn’t help but go back for seconds and sometimes thirds. Now I think I’ve come close here. The original was a bit saucier, but not bad for a first attempt. We devoured ours with some steamed garlicky spinach.
6 chicken leg meat chops (skinned)*
2 x cans Italian tomatoes
1 sprig rosemary
1/2 cup olives, pitted & halved
1/2 cup white wine
plain flour for dusting
Salt & pepper
* If you can’t get these, just use ordinary chicken pieces, but make sure they are on the bone
- Preheat oven to 160C.
- Generously season chicken pieces with salt & pepper & dust with flour.
- In a large casserole pot with a lid (if you don’t have a lid just use 2 sheets of foil) brown the chicken in some olive oil evenly on both sides and remove from the pan.
- Add garlic to the pan and cook lightly until soft and golden.
- Add tinned tomatoes & break up with a wooden spoon, then add wine and bring to a simmer.
- Add olives, rosemary (leave whole) and return chicken to the pan.
- Pop into the oven and cook slowly for 1.5 – 2 hours.
- Check for seasoning when done, the chicken should fall off the bone.
While the chicken is cooking, make the polenta –
6 cups water
2 tsp salt
2 cups polenta
- In a large pot boil the water and salt.
- Add the polenta slowly in a steady stream and mix making sure there are no lumps.
- Lower the heat and stir frequently for 20 minutes until the polenta starts to come away from the pan. (This can be quite an arm work out, but it is worth it!)
- Pour the polenta into a square greased non stick baking tin to set.
- Slice into rectangles and grill until golden & crispy and serve with the chicken piled high.