Work is crazy but home is wonderful. And nothing is nicer than coming home to my charming kitchen and cooking dinner. Especially right now when the gorgeous fall produce is in such abundance. This was the view in my kitchen last week when I made the BEST dinner.
It had been a rough day but I arrived home with a whole box of fresh produce, a nice bottle of wine, some chicken and a very happy toddler. Margot played with her kitchen toys next to my while I started dinner. Chicken Cacciatore, sauteed fennel and zucchini and Chianti. This is the best sort of dinner because you put everything together and it simmers away happily while you do other things. In this case I made a huge batch of homemade salsa while our chicken simmered and periodically popped my head out the window into the courtyard where Chris and Margot were playing with sidewalk chalk.
8 chicken legs
1.5 cup of marinara sauce (I had some homemade in the freezer, I like the frugal gourmet recipe)
1 bay leaf
2 cups polenta
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
season chicken with salt and pepper. dust with flour and brown in olive oil over medium heat. Pour in about 1 cup of red wine and 1.5 cup marinara sauce, really should be homemade. Add a bay leaf. Cover and let simmer 1 hour. When almost done bring broth to boil, slowly whisk in polenta and cook stirring frequently for 5 minutes, stir in Parmesan cheese and pepper. Serve chicken over polenta garnished with fresh basil if you have it.
I served this with a simple saute of onion, fennel, garlic and zucchini. Simply saute thinly sliced fennel, onion and zucchini with 3 crushed and roughly chopped garlic cloves in some olive oil with a little salt and pepper.
As for salsa I don't really have a recipe but there are a few critical components
- Lots of fresh tomatoes, a mix of regular red and sun golds are nice
- fresh onion
- fresh jalapeno
- fresh cilantro
I hope you kitchen is just as happy as mine is this fall!