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Italian Barbecued Chicken with Polenta


  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs and legs or chicken breasts

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons grill seasoning

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

  • 4 thick cut slices pancetta or bacon, chopped

  • 1 medium red onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 cup tomato sauce

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups milk

  • 1 cup quick cooking polenta

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmiginao Reggiano cheese

  • Torn fresh basil leaves


Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, poultry seasoning and grill seasoning. Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO in a medium size skillet and brown the chicken a few minutes on each side to put some of its flavor and drippings into the pan. Transfer the chicken to the oven and roast for 15 minutes more, or until juices run clear. Meanwhile, add 1 more tablespoon of EVOO to the pan and cook the pancetta or bacon, if using, until crisp. Add the onion, garlic and rosemary, cook for 5 minutes, then add the vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer 5 minutes more.

Bring the remaining 1 1/2 cups stock and milk to a boil, whisk in the polenta and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the polenta for 2-3 minutes until it thickens, stir in the butter and cheese, then remove from the heat.

Remove the chicken from the oven and turn in the barbecue sauce. Fill shallow bowls with polenta. Top the polenta with the chicken, spooning the extra sauce over the chicken and garnishing with some torn basil leaves.