The polenta chick with chicken stew, enriched with cream, is a creative meal idea, as delicious to eat as it is fun to make! Find this and many more recipes with pictures on the Giallozafferano App (in English) http://itunes.apple.com/app/giallozafferano-recipes/id384387249?mt=8
To prepare the polenta, bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the salt and the oil. Here’s the trick to keep it from sticking to the pan: sprinkle in the polenta while whisking quickly. When it starts to thicken, replace the whisk with a wooden spoon. Polenta must be stirred constantly until it is done, whether you use instant polenta or stone-ground cornmeal. Once thickened, use the spoon. It’s done, turn off the heat and transfer to a tray. I’m using a shallow tray, as you can see. Spread it evenly with a spatula to a thickness of ¼ inch (½ cm), then allow to cool. Smooth it out as much as possible. Let it cool and move on to the chicken.
I chose chicken breast because it’s lighter and milder tasting than red meat, and it’s perfect for this recipe. Slice the chicken breast lengthwise, then trim off any fat and remove the keel bone in the centre. As an alternative to chicken, you can use turkey or veal. Run your fingers over the meat to feel for any bones or cartilage. All right, once cleaned, cut the chicken breast into cubes, but smaller than stew-sized chunks: first cut the meat into strips, then into small cubes. Now let’s get cooking.
Put the finely chopped onion and the olive oil in a saucepan over a very low heat and cook for at least 10-15 minutes, until almost melted, which makes it more kid-friendly. Now add the chicken, brown on all sides, then cover with vegetable broth, salt to taste, cover with a lid and simmer on a very low heat for at least 30 minutes. At this step, you can add diced potatoes, carrots or zucchini if desired. Pour in the vegetable broth, a pinch of salt and allow to simmer.
Now you can involve the kids in the preparation: you need a slice of scamorza cheese and a carrot, peeled and cut into thin slices, for the chick’s beak and legs. Firstly cut the carrot into thin sticks: you need 2 longer sticks, about 1 ¼ inches (3 cm), for the legs and 3 sticks, about ½ inch (1 cm) long, for the feet; for the beak, cut out a small triangle. For the eye, take a round cookie cutter, ⅔ inch (1,5 cm) in diameter and use the stick of a spoon to release it. A small piece of black olive, a tiny square. The pieces for the details are ready. Now take 2 round cookie cutters, 1 ¾ inches (4,5 cm) and 2 ½ inches (6,5 cm) in diameter. Cut out rounds from the polenta for the chick’s head and body. As for the wing, cut out a square from the polenta and cut v-shaped notches. Now check the stew… it’s almost done, all you have to do is add the thyme, the cream and the soy sauce; cream makes it sweeter, but you can omit it if desired. Don’t add too much salt, because the soy sauce is already quite salty. And lastly a little flour for thickening… stir quickly to prevent the formation of lumps. Cook for a few minutes and the chicken stew is done!
It’s time for assembly: firstly arrange the chicken stew; use coloured plates so that the chick stands out. Perfect, now create the chick’s body, the head, the beak, the eye and finally the legs, isn’t it lovely? You can warm it up in the microwave for 1 minute before serving. And now, let’s see together the ingredients needed for this recipe!
For 4 chicks
For the polenta
- ⅔ cup (100 g) of polenta
- 1 ⅔ cups (400 ml) of water
- a little extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch of salt
For the chicken stew
- 14 oz (400 g) of chicken breast
- ⅔ cup (150 ml) of vegetable broth
- ½ onion
- ⅕ cup (50 ml) of heavy cream
- 1 ¼ tbsp (10 g) of flour
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 heaping tbsp (20 g) of soy sauce
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 black olives
- 1 carrot
- 1 slice of scamorza cheese