Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chicken Polenta Tartlets

Here is the post I promised for the Chicken Polenta Tartlets that I made for Christmas Eve appetizers last night. The original recipe, made on Food TV by Giada, included home made polenta and store bought pesto and chicken. Instead, I used store bought polenta and homemade roast chicken breast and pesto. The pesto I decided to use to go with the christmas theme was a walnut pesto (with some basil and mint in it). All the flavours complimented well and it went over well with the fam. My mum wasn't the biggest fan of the polenta, which is kind of like an italian grits (but smoother and more delicious, but basically made of the same components) which surprised me because she's a true lover of Southern Grits. Perhaps its all the butter and salt, hehe.

Chicken Polenta Tartlets
Recipe adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

1 shredded roasted chicken breast (recipe follows)
Walnut Pesto (recipe follows)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tube prepackaged basil and garlic polenta
Dried Cranberries for garnish

Remove the polenta from it's package and cut into 1/2" slices. Bake at 350, browning slightly and solidifying-- about 10 minutes, tops. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the chicken, pesto, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Plate the polenta and top with a spoonful of chicken and a few dried cranberries. Serve.

Roasted Chicken Breast

1 chicken breast, trimmed of fat
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon italian seasonings
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine the dry ingredients. Rub the chicken breast with the olive oil then each side with the dry ingredients.
Roast chicke nbreas at 450 for 15-17 minutes, then lower temperature to 350. Roast until at 180 degrees. Set aside and allow to cool.

Walnut Pesto

2 tablespoons walnuts
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, shaking occasionally to brown evenly. Let cool.
In a food processor, puree the nuts, mint, basil, cheese, garlic, and salt. With the motor running drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated. Transfer the pesto to a container and refridgerate up to 3 days.


Sophie said...

I really like the festive colors and unconventional flavors, sounds like the perfect holiday feast :)! I'd like to share your adapted recipe with our readers. Please let me know if you're interested!

Kevin said...

This sounds like a really tasty appetizer. I like the cranberry garnish.