We are now officially in lockdown. Today it’s a beautiful sunny day, it has been like this for the past week or so. I was a little bored and sad that I could not get out so this garlic with chicken, veggies tomato sauce and polenta was made.
We are in a lockdown
We have been in self-isolation since Thursday last week, a few days before the official lockdown was announced. Thankfully we are all fine, no symptoms so far and hopefully, we will stay that way.
Last week I started to work from home and kids’ schools closed too we decided to stay indoors as much as possible.
Self-isolating is in no way easy, It’s not easy, because it is not. This is the time we itch to get out the most but I believe the more you think of it, the more you want out. So, it is better to just do it as it is a norm for now.
Coping with the lockdown ...
Luckily, kids were busy doing LOADS of homework. The schools have been brilliant with organising themselves in a very short space of time.
A bit of garden, a bit of gym, a couple of board games, a nice and early dinner like this and ... before we realise the day it’s gone!
There is no doubt that we are living truly strange and challenging times but let’s make the most of this. It is all about the quality of togetherness.
But also so much stuff that can be done around the house. Things that I haven’t had a chance to do for a long time. Things like drawers de-cluttering or wardrobes tidying. That includes a bit of TLC like manicure, pedicure or a nice bath with candles. Some proper time to relax with some beautiful relaxing music.
Time to stop, think, meditate, cherish, appreciate....
I feel a bit wowed. Going from that continuous rush when I have time for nothing to this where I have all the time in the world. For once, I feel the time it’s passing a lot slower. Such a change in such a short time, it's incredible.
More time to meditate, reflect, stop and see things that I have not had the chance of observing in the past few years.
Yes, we do worry, about the uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring but we will have to just do our best and take everything as it comes.
Cooking (as always) has been my therapy. It always manages to keep me happy and I’ve had time to write more recipes too.
Here’s one of them, this chicken garlic and polenta and a lot more to come ;-), stay tuned.
Let’s see some polenta variations
If you wish your polenta to be creamier you may substitute the water for milk and even add a dash of butter or a splash of cream towards the end of cooking.
Polenta can also be cooked with vegetable or chicken stock for a savoury flavour.
You could add grated cheese and some thyme, basil or any herbs that you may like.
Polenta is so versatile and can be served hot or cold with creamy dishes, with egg in the morning, with lamb, pork, chicken or fish. And here are some more polenta recipe ideas for you to enjoy:
Can this dish be served cold?
Yes, absolutely. This chicken with garlic dish can be cooked in advance or can have left overs the next day. It can make a nice summer cold dish on a nice hot day.
Practical tips :
I generally cook all three dishes simultaneously so they all come out ready at once. If you wish to serve them hot. They can be cooked separately, one by one, leaving the polenta to cook last so this is served hot. Reheat the others or keep in a warm oven ready for serving.
Cook this vegetarian or vegan?
Yes, leave the meat out and have your vegetarian and a vegan option
Let's get cooking, shall we... apron on, pots and pans out, let's get whisking!
Chicken with garlic, vegetable tomato sauce and polenta
For the chicken:
- 4 chicken legs skin removed (optional)
- 4 clove garlic split
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
For the tomato sauce:
- 2 onions sliced
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 parsnip diced or sliced
- 3 tbsp parsley fresh chopped roughly
- 1 tsp salt I used Himalayan pink
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 glass white wine
- 2 tbsp tomato paste or 1 can of chopped tomato
For the polenta :
- 1 l water
- 240 g cornmeal
- 2 tbsp rosemary dry or fresh
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp creme fraiche to serve
Cook the chicken:
- Cook (covered) the chicken legs thoroughly into a frying pan or a skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle some water from time to time and when the chicken is almost cooked add half a glass of white wine and one or two crushed and finely chopped garlic cloves. Reduce all juices until it begins to sizzle. Brown slightly on both sides. Set aside. This should take about 20-25 min (depending on the legs size).
Making the tomato and vegetable sauce:
- While chicken is cooking, cut the onions into halves and then make it rings, strips, however you like. I cut them into half rings by cutting the onion into two and then slice it. Cook in a pan with a little salt and pepper for about 5-7 min over medium heat. Drizzle some water from time to time so this remains nice and soft rather than caramelise.
- Add the carrot, parsnip, 1 bay leaf, white wine and cook (covered) for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and a drizzle of water if needed. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make the polenta :
- Add 1 l water to a larger saucepan. Add a teaspoon of salt and the dry or fresh rosemary. Bring to boil. Allow the water and herbs to boil for 1 minute then remove the rosemary needles. I usually use a sprig as it gets easier to remove.
- Add the cornmeal with one hand while whisking with the other. Whisk continuously for a minute to avoid any lumps formation.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes stirring every now and then. It will form a crust, do not worry that’s how it should do.
- When ready simply dish out on plates with the help of a serving spoon.
- Dish out the chicken along with the tomato sauce and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche.