Nothing tastes better than a hearty stew on a cold winter day and this one is a family favorite!! Sorry some of the pics aren't that great as I shot them with my Samsung Tablet camera.
Below is my mise en place and I had to showcase my awesome new Japanese Shun knife my hubby bought me as a gift. It chops and slices like no other!!
2 whole chicken breasts, bone in
4 chicken thighs
2 thick slices pancetta, cut into lardons
1 large onion diced
1 carrot, diced
4 cloved garlic, chopped
5 baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper from jar, sliced into strips
1/2 bottle Chimay blue label beer or 3 cups white wine
3 cups chicken stock (Swanson cooking stock makes a good substitute for home made)
1 tbs dried oregano
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped finely
1 bay leaf
In a large Dutch oven, saute pancetta until browned and the fat has rendered.
On medium heat, add the veggies, herbs and saute until they have softened. Add beer and reduce about three minutes. Add stock, reduce heat to low simmer.
Meanwhile in a separate pan with about 4 tbs olive oil, sear chicken pieces in small batches until they are golden brown. Be sure to salt and pepper them before. Add them to the Dutch oven...
In a sauce pot, bring 2.5 cups chicken stock to a boil, slowly stir in half a box of Dellalo brand instant polenta. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tbs butter and 2 tbs fresh grated parmesan or gruyere cheese. I also like to drizzle a little white truffle oil in it for taste***. I order it from Olivier Napa Valley. I also just ordered some from Dean and Deluca as a Christmas gift to me :-)Want to make something really yummy?? Cool the polenta and pour it on a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll it into a tube shape and refrigerate. Once completely cooled (about 2 hours), unwrap it, slice into 2 inch thick discs and fry it in some grapeseed oil until crispy.
*** Let's discuss truffle oil shall we? Be sure to use an oil infused with REAL truffles, not fake truffle flavoring. I know, truffle oil is sooooo 2008, but I love the stuff. Not sure why Gordon Ramsey had a melt down on master chef when a contestant used it in a recipe. Here he is using it Here!! Truffle cream cheese spread looks pretty tasty doesn't it??