Chicken Thighs with Apples & Onions Over Cheddar Polenta

Ingredients –  8 slices bacon –  1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil –  8 boneless skinless chicken thighs –  salt and pepper –  3 tbs butter –  3 crispy apples  –  1 onion –  2 tbs fresh thyme –  7 to 8 sage leaves  –  freshly grated nutmeg  –  2 ½ cups chicken stock –  ½ cup apple cider –  ¼ apple brandy – 1 cup milk – 1 cup quick-cooking polenta – 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the bacon on a wire rack and cook about 10 minutes, until crispy.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and place into the skillet and cook until browned, flip once. Remove from pan, set on a plate, cover.

3. Add butter to the pan. Add apples, onion, thyme and sage. Cook. Add chicken stock, cider and brandy. Return the chicken to the skillet and coat with sauce. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes longer.

4. While chicken is cooking, make the polenta. Bring the remaining chicken stock to a boil. Add polenta and cook whisking constantly for 2 to 3 minutes, until thick. Season with salt and pepper and add the cheese. Stir to melt.

5. Serve the polenta on platters with chicken thighs and apples and onions. Top with bacon.

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