La Dolce Vita

What I really need is a subscription to olive and delicious. Not that I do not come across the magazines here in Brussels, but a lot more sporadically and if I happen to be abroad for work – forget that month’s issue. I did subscribe to the Dutch delicious though so my Dutch is improving every day …

Back to food though. The May issue of delicious (UK) was all about Italian food. I love Italian food. Then again, who doesn’t. Of course we have tried the usual and perhaps more unusual Italian dishes. However an ingredient I don’t use nearly as often as I should is polenta. I grew up on polenta and just love the stuff. It is probably amongst the fastes dishes too make, yet I always seem to … forget polenta.

I jumped at the recipe of lemon and basil grilled chicken with creamy polenta. Our basil is growing mad (really, this is not a joke – we are invaded by the basil plant) and the rest of the ingredients are always available in our house. Plus a chance to cook polenta.

The recipe is very easy, and can probably be adapted to other herbs, or just keep the chicken moist and simple. The recipe is taken from delicious, May 2007 issue, page 28.

Basil Grilled Chichen with Creamy Polenta (serves 4)
grated zest of 1 lemon, plus a good squeeze of lemon juice
large handful of fresh basil leaves
1 small garlic clove
1/2tbsp coarse sea salt
2tbsp olive oil
4 skinless chicken breast fillets
300ml milk
150gr instant polenta
150gr dolcelatte or gorgonzola, diced

Preheat the grill to medium high. Put the lemon zest in a food processor with the basil, garlic and sea salt, and whizz until finely chopped. Add the oil and lemon juice, and whizz again to make a loose paste.
Rub the paste over the chicken breasts. Grill for 12-15min,turning halfway, until the chicken is cooked.
Meanwhile, pour the milk into a large pan with 400ml water (you could also leave the milk out completely). Add a little salt and bring to the boil. reduce the heat to low, then add the polenta and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cook, stirring, for 4-5min, until thick.
Stir the cheese into the polenta, then quickly spoon into 4 shallow bowls. Top each with a chicken breast and serve immediately.

We added a very simple cherry tomato and basil salad. The wine suggestion to the dish is a full Chardonnay.

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