Peppered Chicken with Saffron Polenta

Peppered Chicken with Saffron Polenta (1)A couple of years ago, I was contacted by a casting producer asking if might be interested in auditioning for a cooking show that was being produced for a “major television network.”  I, of course, said yes, and agreed to produce a number of savory dishes (in 2 days) to photograph and submit before my Skype interview.  Well, I did my part.  I wrote, cooked, photographed 4 dishes (each a different protein), submitted them, and waited for my scheduled Skype interview.  For whatever reason, the producer never phoned in.  I waited for 3 hours.  I emailed him twice to see if we needed to reschedule. I never heard from him or his production company again.  I assumed that the show had been cancelled and production halted.

About a year later, a show matching the description I’d been pitched appeared on NBC, “Food Fighters” hosted by Adam Richman.  It was at that point I realized that the producer who’d originally contacted me out of the blue (not the other way around) was a flake.  As a professional, if you schedule a meeting or an interview, you attend.  If an emergency happens, you communicate an apology.  If you merely change your mind, you owe it to the other person to communicate that.  I’m not sure if “Food Fighters” was a success; I refused to watch it.

Anyway, the interview and audition may have gone down in flames, but the dishes I created were phenomenal and photographed pretty well too.  This is one of those dishes…

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts-cut in half

1 TBSP olive oil

1/2 c. onion–diced

1/2 c. green bell pepper–diced

½ c. celery-chopped

2 cloves garlic–minced

1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes

1/4 c. chicken stock

1 tsp italian seasoning

1 TBSP dried parsley flakes

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes–less if you can’t handle the heat

2c. water or chicken broth

2 pkts Goya Sazon seasoning with saffron

1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

3/4 c. yellow cornmeal–plain…not corn meal mix

4-6 TBSP milk

In a large skillet, brown chicken breasts in olive oil. Add onion, peppers, celery and garlic. Saute over medium heat until onions & peppers are tender. Deglaze the pan with vodka and add diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Cook 15 minutes or until flavors taste combined. If the sauce becomes too thick add water.

In a medium sauce pan, bring chicken broth/water and Sazon seasoning to a boil. Quickly whisk in cornmeal and reduce heat to low. Continue cooking until thick. Add Parmesan cheese and milk (to desired consistency).

Serve chicken & tomato-pepper sauce over polenta…super yummy!

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