There’s something about a pile of cheap chicken. It’s a challenge to infuse flavor. A quest to show that every cut can shine. An investigation into your deep creative mind to conjure up a meal that will please. All while doing it on the cheap. But if it’s good enough, no one has to know. This one will be between just you and me.
Grab a solid handful of thighs and let’s get to work. These chicken thighs with apples, onions, over cheddar polenta are a poor mans feast. Real down home food that isn’t going to cost a fortune and tastes twice as good as crappy take out. Hell, this one would give grandma a run for her money. Let’s show her that you’ve developed some skills in the kitchen all your own. That even you can make cheap chicken the star of this show.
All without breaking a sweat.
- 8 slices bacon
- 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- salt and pepper
- 3 tbs butter
- 3 crispy apples breauburn or liberty
- 1 onion halved and sliced into 1/4" slices
- 2 tbs fresh thyme
- 7 to 8 sage leaves thinly sliced
- freshly grated nutmeg optional
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1/4 apple brandy
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the bacon on a wire rack in an rimmed bacon sheet and cook about 10 minutes, until crispy.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and place into the skillet (working in batches if needed) and cook for 10 minutes, until well browned, flipping once halfway through cook time. Remove from pan, set on a plate, cover.
- In the same skillet, at the butter to the pan and stir to coat. Add the apples, onion, thyme and sage. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock, the cider and brandy and scrape up any browned bits. Return the chicken to the skillet and coat with the sauce. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes longer.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the polenta. Bring the remaining chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the polenta and cook and , whisking constantly for 2 to 3 minutes, until thick. Season with salt and pepper and add the cheese. Stir to melt.
- Serve the polenta on platters with chicken thighs and apples and onions. Top with bacon.