Sunday, July 5, 2015

Chicken and Roasted Broccoli with Polenta - July Secret Recipe Club

Summer is in full swing and I have been struggling to enjoy all that the season offers while still getting dinner on the table at an early hour. My days seem to run away from me! Longer days haven't helped to keep us on schedule, it is hard to stop when the day keeps going strong. So right now I am trying to find simple, yet fresh meals for my family.

It is July and that means it is time for another Secret Recipe Club recipe reveal!

This month I had the pleasure of browsing through Elizabeth's blog, Food Ramblings. She started blogging to hold herself accountable to her healthy resolutions and to post recipes geared towards eating better and losing weight.What I enjoyed most was that her recipes still look delicious and family-friendly. I know my 2-year old whole-heartidly endorses the polenta in this dish.

There are several other recipes I would like to come back to, but this Chicken & Broccoli over Polenta was calling my name... and perfect for what I had on hand in my pantry.

Okay, I did make a few little changes to her original recipe. I used chicken tenders because that is what I had on hand. They also cook quickly... my other change was to roast the broccoli with a little olive oil. It is our newest favorite way to enjoy fresh from the field broccoli. Since we grow our own here on the farm we don't use frozen this time of year... but frozen is a great option if that is what you have available.

I think we should all cook with what we have available at the moment. That is what I love most about cooking. Recipes evolve, change and get better with time and experience.

This recipe uses some very simple techniques. First you brown the chicken, then finish it off in a little stock and thinly sliced onions.

Roasting brocolli is amazing! Just toss in olive oil, sprinkle with a touch of kosher salt then allow them to carmelize a little. We enjoy ours with a bit of crunch still left in the stalks.

And the polenta... oh, there is something so simple and delicious about a little cheesy polenta. Instant polenta is something I now keep stocked in the pantry. Easy and fast to make, my kids love it as much as we do.

Chicken and Roasted Broccoli with Polenta
recipe adapted from Food Ramblings

You will need:

  • 2-3 c. broccoli, sliced uniformly
  • olive oil
  • 6 chicken tenders
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes *optional
  • 2 1/4 c. water
  • 3/4 c. instant polenta
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • kosher salt

Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the broccoli in olive oil and sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Roast for about 6 minutes, turn over and roast for an additional 4-6 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Start a pot of water boiling for the polenta. Once it comes up to a boil, stir in the polenta and butter. Keep stirring for 5 minutes until the polenta thickens and is cooked through. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

Put 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Season the chicken tenders with salt and then brown on both sides. Cook for about 2 - 3 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the heat and set aside. Soften the onions in the same pan, then add the garlic, stock, red pepper flakes and chicken back to the pan. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve the polenta topped with the roasted broccoli, chicken and with a little onion and stock mixture spooned over the top.


So what is your favorite simple weeknight dinner? If you are looking for more great recipe ideas, be sure to check out Elizabeth's blog for more healthy eating options and recipe makeovers.

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