¾ cup flour
1 tsp. each ground thyme and ground sage
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp. EVOO
2 tbsp. butter
2 ripe pears, such as Bosc, quartered and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, quartered, or 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
½ cup white wine, such as Sancerre
2 tbsp. (packed) brown sugar
2 tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar or balsamic drizzle
3 cups liquid (I prefer half chicken stock and half milk, but water works, too)
1 cup quick-cooking polenta
1 cup trimmed and finely chopped ripe Camembert
1 small bundle fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Place the flour in a shallow dish; mix in the dried thyme and sage. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge in the flour; transfer to a plate.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the oil, three turns of the pan. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate.
Add the butter, pears, onion, and fresh thyme to the skillet; season with salt and pepper. Partially cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears and onion soften, 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it is absorbed, about 1 minute. Stir in the brown sugar and balsamic. Slide the chicken back into the skillet and cook until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes more, depending on the size of the breasts.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the liquid for the polenta to a low boil over medium to medium-high. Pour in the polenta and whisk until the mixture thickens, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cheese; stir until it melts. Add the spinach; stir until it wilts into the polenta. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Divide the chicken and pears among plates. Serve the polenta alongside.