The main content
Chicken with Pears & Polenta

Chicken with Pears & Polenta



  • 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


  • Step 1

    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.

  • Step 2

    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.

  • Step 3

    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.

  • Step 4

    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.

  • Step 5

    Divide the chicken and pears among plates. Serve the polenta alongside.