- Yield:8 servings
- Time:60 minutes
Is that title a mouthful or what? Well, it’s not rocket science! It’s fun to make things sound much more glamorous than they really are. It’s even more fun to make them taste as good as they sound!
Polenta is a gluten-free lower-calorie pasta-like food that’s popular in Italy and the American south made from milled yellow corn. It was named by one website as “The World’s Sexiest Carb”, which made me feel pretty nice about recommending it to you! It’s even sexier when you can find the organic and non-GMO version. Originally, it was the food of the peasants in northern Italy because it was, (and still is) super cheap. This food fueled the Roman army that conquered most of Europe (when in Rome, do as the Romans do—they called it pulmentu), and it now defies its humble beginnings by showing up on the menus of high end fancy restaurants.
You can buy polenta ready-made. It’s refrigerated and usually comes wrapped in a cylinder-shape like liverwurst; or you can buy it in a bag like flour and make it yourself. They sell it at most grocery and health food stores, usually in the section for gluten-free food. I like it plain with salt on it, but you could flavor it however you want.
As far as the chicken goes, I had to know why my cousin’s chicken breast was so much better than mine. His was never dry or fibrous, and when you picked up a piece it was so soft it would droop like it was semi-raw. But, it was fully cooked! What, pray tell, made his chicken so awesome?? It was so simple! It’s a brown liquid that’s literally just called ‘seasoning’.
There are only a couple of brands, which you can get in the BBQ sauce aisle of the supermarket. The only drawback is that it contains a lot of sodium (even the low sodium version), so you’ll not want to use this recipe if you have medical reasons or before a bodybuilding contest where you need to cut sodium. We don’t eat any processed foods, and we drink a gallon of water a day, so we can afford to eat it every now and then. Marinating chicken in this ‘seasoning’ keeps the meat tender, even if it’s been cooked slightly too long or sitting in the fridge for a week. Put it on a charcoal grill, and it’s heaven. I crave it!
- 3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups of polenta/corn grits
- 3 large heads of broccoli
- 1 tsp salt 6 cups of water (if you are making the polenta yourself)
- ¼ cup brown liquid ‘seasoning’
- A ½ inch thick bunch of fresh chives or 1 Tbsp. dried chives
- 6-8 leaved of fresh dried basil or 1 Tbsp.
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Chicken ala Brett:
Fillet the chicken breast so you have two thin breasts instead of one big thick one. Simply put the meat on a cutting board and hold your palm on it with a downward pressure. Hold a large, sharp knife in the center and carefully cut across while the blade is parallel to your hand. If you need to see it done, there’s a cute tutorial on YouTube that comes up at the top in a google search for how to fillet a chicken breast. Put ¼ cup of brown liquid ‘seasoning’ into a large bowl and drag each chicken breast through it. Then drop the meat in and add some water to make sure the liquid covers all of the meat. Then, put it in the fridge for ½ hour- 1 hour while you prep the other food. Finally, throw it on the grill (charcoal is best). I have yet to try baking it, but I’ll bet that’s good too. Cook until it’s just done or even slightly less than done, if you plan to microwave it again. If you are going to eat some right away, make sure a piece is finished.
Herbed Broccoli Al Dente:
Al dente is just the fancy Italian word for ‘firm to the tooth’ (my translation: less time cooking!). Wash and chop all of the florets off the heads and put into a large pot. Add a couple of cups of water; the water doesn’t need to cover the broccoli. The steam will do most of the cooking. Let the water boil and stir a couple of times. Check a piece to see if it’s as done as you want it; I suggest not cooking it all the way and allowing it to be slightly crunchy, or ‘al dente’. Empty out the water and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Take the basil and chives and cut them into tiny pieces over the broccoli and add the teaspoon of oregano, garlic, and pepper; then toss until the broccoli is covered with the herbs. That’s it!
If you buy it ready-made, all you have to do is slice off the amount you want and put it in your containers. If you buy it to make it yourself (it tastes better and is cheaper like this), add the 6 cups of water and 1 tsp. salt to a deep pan or pot and put on high heat. While you wait for the water to boil, spray a bowl of a shape you would want it to hold with non-stick spray and set aside. Once the water boils, stir in the grits and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often. Use a long handled spoon, since it may bubble and pop and could burn you. You will certainly get a biceps workout stirring it! It gets very thick. After 30 minutes, put it all into the sprayed bowl and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Flip it over onto a large flat surface and pull the bowl off. You can then cut it into 8 nifty pieces.
Protein: 33.6 g
Fat: 7.3 g
Carbs: 33.5 g
Fiber: 4.4 g