Chicken With Tomato, Sweet Fennel Sausage and Polenta

“This is a dish I cook for special occasions. It is rather rich and is time consuming but well worth it. I got this out of the Nov 85 edition of Bon Appetit. It was in the Bon Appetit cooking class section. This is a recipe by Bruce Aidells. I wrote the recipe as it is in the magazine but I have made a few changes that make it easier for me. I cut the sausage in half and take the casing off. Don't skip the coppa, it's what makes the dish in my mind. I don't use the classic polenta recipe but included it as it was part of the recipe in the magazine. We like to sprinkle parmesan cheese over chicken and polenta.”
2hrs 40mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pour water over mushrooms in small bowl. cover and soak until soft, about 30 minutes. Strain soaking liquid through fine sieve, reserving soaking liquid. Rinse mushoorms; cut out any tough stems.
  2. Pat chicken dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Melt butter with oil in heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicke and brown on all sides. Transfer to plate. Pierce sausages with fork. Add to Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium and cook until brown on all sides. Add to chicken.
  3. Add coppa to Dutch oven and stir 2 minutes. Add leeks, onion, carrot and celery. Reduce heat to low and cook until vegetables soften, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine. Increase heat and boil until almost evaporated. Add mushrooms and soaking liquid, tomatoes, stock and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons fresh basil and oregano. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Return chicken and sausages to Dutch oven. Simmer until chicken is tender and sausages are cook through, about 25 minutes. Transfer chicken and sausages to heated plate. Tent with aluminum foil to keep warm. Boil sauce until thick enought to coat spoon; stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Degrease sauce. Spoon polenta onto large platter. Top with chicken and sausage. Spoon some sauce over. Garnish with 1 tablespoon fresh basil. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.
  4. Classic Polenta.
  5. Bring stock and salt to boil in heavy 4 quart saucepan. Add polenta in very thin stream, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until polenta is consistency of thick oatmeal, stirring frequently, about 30 minutes. Mix in butter. Servce immediately.

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