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Poached Chicken with Parmesan Polenta

With Geoff Scott

Poached Chicken with Parmesan Polenta

This recipe is based on a very humble and simple, heart warming family dish that I love to cook for family and friends at home.  It involves only 2 pots and uses all the poaching vegetables as part of the meal so nothing is wasted.  The sliced vegetables are very much about flavour in the dish but also an important part of the presentation, take time to slice them evenly.

Wine Recommendation - a full bodied rich chardonnay

3 cups chicken stock
1 clove garlic
8 slices of peeled carrot
8 slices of celery
4 slices of a small onion, spate the rings out
1 teaspoon Marlborough sea salt
1 teaspoon rosemary
4 small chicken breasts, approx 140gr each
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of finely sliced chives

In a deep fry pan heat the stock, vegetables and salt to boiling.
Simmer for 5 minutes skimming off any impurities that rise to the surface. 
Add the rosemary and the chicken breasts and simmer gently for 10 minutes or till cooked. 
Test by removing one breast from the poaching liquor, press the thickest part with your finger, it should be firm to the touch. 
Remove all the chicken and place on a plate, cover with a tin foil to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. 
Reserve the vegetables in a small bowl, gently toss them with the olive oil and chives, season with salt.

Parmesan Polenta
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon Marlborough sea salt
80g polenta
4 tablespoons grated Italian Parmesan cheese - buy the real stuff, it's worth it!
1/4 cup cream

In a large pan bring the water, milk and salt to the boil.
Add the polenta by raining it in slowly as you whisk it continuously by hand. 
When it is all combined, bring it back to bubbling, then turn the heat down to very low and simmer for 40 minutes, gently whisking every 5 - 10 minutes. 
Just before serving add in the parmesan, cream and adjust the seasoning.

Serve the hot polenta into warm bowls, arrange the sliced chicken and vegetables on top. 
Spoon some of the hot poaching liquor, as the sauce over the chicken breast.

(Broadcast: 18 Apr 2012)