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Wine-Braised Chicken with Apricots, Olives, and Polenta (Sangria)

Chicken

Apricot and olives might seem like an odd combo, but the salty-sweet thing works with the chicken’s mild flavor and a nice dose of wine. A healthy spoonful of polenta sops up the juices of the chicken and forms a creamy sauce.

Yield: 5–6 servings

Pat chicken dry, and season with thyme, salt, and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan with high edges to medium-high, and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add chicken when oil is shimmering. Sear on both sides, about 3 seconds per side.

Remove chicken, and add another tablespoon of oil. Add onions and carrots, and cook until vegetables have some color, about 5 minutes. Add apricots, olives, and bay leaves. Wrap and tie parsley in cheesecloth. Add parsley and white wine, and reduce by half. Add mustard, chicken, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Cover and cook until chicken is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove chicken, and bring sauce to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until it has thickened, about 4–5 minutes. Return chicken to pan until serving.

Bring water and chicken stock to a boil. Gradually add polenta, whisking constantly. When polenta starts to thicken, reduce heat to low, and stir with a spoon. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Add mascarpone and butter, and mix well.

Season with salt and pepper, and serve with chicken.

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