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Video: Get comfort from the cold with creamy polenta

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    >>> it's cold outside, why not make a little comfort food to enjoy during the deep freeze?

    >> the chef and owner in new jersey. good to see you.

    >> yes.

    >> i understand there's another restaurant underway in jersey city .

    >> yes. right on the water, overlooking manhattan. we can see the freedom tower , italian seafood restaurant. we're in the works, four weeks, six weeks away. it's going to be great.

    >> cool.

    >> we're going to do a boneless dish?

    >> yes, this is a great dish i've been doing for years and years. a buttermilk baked chicken breast . and basically we take our breast, we season it with salt and pepper . it's very, very simple. salt and pepper and then we cover it with a little buttermilk. but we don't touch the skin with the buttermilk.

    >> how come?

    >> it acts as a vessel, you want the skin to get crispy. the buttermilk's going to keep it nice and moist. we throw in in at about 400 degrees in a convection oven. then we'll take out our cooked piece. and we're going to spread a little bit of pesto. you don't have to make this. you can, the recipe will be shown, but you can also buy it. this will just add flavor. and you're going to broil this for 30 seconds to a minute.

    >> goes back in.

    >> goes back in.

    >> if you're having a dinner party , you can literally have your chicken done and then finish it 30, 45 seconds. and you don't have to spend so much time in the kitchen. so this goes back in. all right.

    >> the other ones about done?

    >> so then we have here, broccoli rub. something i grew up on, my grandmother always cooked it. it's roasted garlic instead of regular garlic. and basically you want to toast the garlic for a little bit and then throw our broccoli in there. control your seasoning.

    >> this is blanched already?

    >> yeah, we pre-boiled it. another way to make your dinner party go seamless and simple, have things precooked.

    >> finish it all.

    >> your seasoning is very basic, too, just salt and pepper .

    >> use the freshest ingredients and let them shine. that's how my grandmother taught me, that's how my boss taught me, let the ingredients shine. this is what i'm doing here. we're going to finish it with a little bit of vegetable stock. let it just kind of cook for a minute or two. and here, we have creamy polenta.

    >> there it is.

    >> finished with super, delicious, creamy -- would you, please, polenta, let's put it right here. all right. right there. and then you're going to give it a little bit of a swoosh. i like the swoosh. perfect. and then, willie --

    >> right in?

    >> right in the center. okay. perfect.

    >> wow.

    >> and then we have the chicken. we have finished product over here with some other dishes. so here's the chicken. and i also like to just give it a little bit of pesto on the plate for some color. it's a finisher. we've got the romaine wedge, roasted garlic dressing.

    >> lovely.

    >> and this is my mother, pastry chef cynthia requested. a sweet finish.

    >> always listen to your mom.

    >> you had me at nutella. ryan, thanks so much.

    >> thank you. thank you.

    >> as always, the recipes are at today.com. we're back in

TODAY recipes
updated 1/6/2014 8:08:57 AM ET 2014-01-06T13:08:57

Recipe: Buttermilk baked chicken breast with broccoli rabe and polenta

  • Basil pesto
  • 1 cup oregano (fresh)
  • 1 cup parsley (fresh)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup aged Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Buttermilk baked chicken breast
  • 4-6oz Chicken Breast
  • 3 cup Buttermilk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic roasted broccoli rabe
  • Quart of blanched broccoli rabe
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup of low sodium chicken stock
  • 1tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Creamy polenta
  • 1/2 quart of heavy Cream
  • 1/4 quart of milk
  • 1/2 cup of yellow polenta
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded fontina

Basil pesto
Combine all ingredients except olive oil in food processor for approx. 10-15 sec. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and blend for additional 30 seconds. store any unused portion in an air tight container and refrigerate up to one week.

Buttermilk baked chicken breast
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour buttermilk on a sheet pan. Place chickens breasts skin side up on the buttermilk. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 10 min and take out. Brush pesto on chicken. Turn broiler on high and wait for it to heat up. Place chicken under broiler for 30 seconds but stay close so it doesn’t burn. Serve with polenta and broccoli rabe.

Garlic roasted broccoli rabe
Place a large saute pan on the stove on med to high heat. Add oil and butter. When the butter begins to foam add garlic and broc rabe. Wait ten seconds to toast the garlic and deglaze with the stock. Season with salt and pepper and cover for 3-4 min. Serve with chicken.

Creamy polenta
Place heavy cream, milk, and salt and pepper in a sauce pot on low heat. In the meantime turn up the heat on the cream and keep an eye it. When your cream comes to a boil, lower heat and stir in polenta. Whisk for a good five minutes, fold in fontina and shut off heat and set aside.

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