Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chicken Ragu on Polenta

During a little ski getaway to Crabbe Mountain near Fredericton, New Brunswick - I had a chance to watch a Rachel Ray show on the Food network. I don't have that channel at home - which is a good thing because I would probably watch lots of cooking shows and we would starve!
She made this Turkey Ragu on Polenta and it looked so easy and delicious. So we made an adaptation of that recipe last night.

I had picked up some free range chicken at the Mariposa Market - Owners Cait and Steve know the farmer and his farm...sure makes a person feel better about eating the poor little chicken - that it had quality of life whilst living and that it is healthier meat.

Often free range, antibiotic free, hormone free, etc., meats can cost more which brings up the quality vs quantity issue. Many people can benefit from eating less meat, so if you do decide to switch to these higher quality meats - just buy less. Choose quality.

Start by heating a glug of olive oil in a large saucepan and add the ground chicken or turkey. Here is my Sous Chef Mike, doing just that. Add some freshly ground pepper, a little salt and poultry seasoning - I like Victorian Epicure (from Victoria, B.C.) Turkey Rub, or a combination of rosemary, thyme, and summer savory.

Here is Bella with a big smile; she smells animal protein cooking!

Then finely chop up vegetables:
several stalks of celery, a couple of sweet peppers, an onion, a small zucchini, and a few cloves of minced garlic. You can use almost any veggies you have on hand: carrot, cauliflower, chopped spinach...
Add these to the browned ground chicken. Add about 1/4 cup of tomato paste and 1/2 cup red wine - shoot, we have to open up a bottle of wine...oh well, make the best of it! Then add ~ 1 1/2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth.Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Measure 3 cups of broth into a pot over medium high heat. When the broth comes to a boil, sprinkle 1 cup polenta cornmeal into the broth while whisking. Stir until it thickens, about 3-4 minutes.

 Spoon the hot polenta onto the plates with a little well in the centre. Spoon the ragu into the well.
Serve!!! It was 'easy peasy!!!'

This is definitely going to go into my 'favourite recipe' file!

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