TODAY

TODAY   |  January 06, 2014

Get comfort from the cold with creamy polenta

Chef Ryan DePersio has a few Italian comfort-food recipes to insulate you from the cold gripping much of the country, including buttermilk-based chicken and creamy polenta.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> 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