Creamy Polenta with Chicken, Caramelized Shallots, Arugula

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

Notes: Pre-cooked chicken will make this recipe easy. Instant or standard polenta can be sued for this recipe. See package for timing details. Cooking time may differ depending on your polenta of choice. When cooking polenta, place a lid on top of pot, askew, to prevent polenta from spattering. Once cooked, polenta will begin to thicken as it cools. Serve as close to cooking as possible, or add more liquid to loosen.

About the author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of the new cookbook One Bowl Baking: Simple From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts (Running Press, October 2013), also available at Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Powell's, and The Book Depository. Watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. Follow her Chocoholic, Chicken Dinners, Singapore Stories and Let Them Eat Cake columns on Serious Eats. Follow Yvonne on Twitter as she explores Singapore.

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Creamy Polenta with Chicken, Caramelized Shallots, Arugula

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:1 hour
Total time:1 hour
This recipe appears in: Chicken Dinners: Creamy Polenta with Chicken, Caramelized Shallots, and Arugula


  • 6 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock, divided
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless, chicken breast (about 2 medium)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 large shallots, sliced thin (about 3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta (see note above)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 4 cups arugula


  1. 1

    Slice chicken in half horizontally so that pieces are of equal thickness. Heat 4 cups broth in medium saucepan over medium heat to simmer. Add chicken and reduce heat to bare simmer. Cook until chicken is just cooked through (160°F), about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate (reserve all broth) and shred into bite sized pieces when cool enough to handle. Place chicken in a small bowl and pour 3/4 cup broth over chicken to keep moist. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. 2

    Heat 3 tablespoons oil in medium skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallots, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cook, stirring, until shallot begin to turn golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. 3

    Heat 5 cups broth (using both chicken cooking broth and fresh unused broth) in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. When broth comes to boil, whisk in polenta in a fine steady stream. Bring to simmer, whisking, then lower heat so that mixture remains at a low boil (see note above). Cook until polenta is soft and creamy, stirring occasionally (see note above), and adding extra broth as necessary (use water if broth runs out).

  4. 4

    When polenta is cooked, remove from heat and whisk in butter and Parmesan until combined. Season to taste and keep warm (see note above).

  5. 5

    Add chicken (with broth) to shallots and heat over medium heat until just warmed through. Season to taste.

  6. 6

    Spoon polenta into serving bowls and top with chicken mixture and pine nuts. Top with arugula and drizzle with remaining oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.


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