Polenta-Crusted Chicken with Balsamic Caper Pan Sauce


I found this recipe in the January issue of Gourmet (in the quick meals section, which I love!) and it’s a great alternative to fried chicken!  The polenta crust has a hearty flavor you don’t get with regular breadcrumb versions and also doesn’t feel as heavy (I only used the egg whites to coat the chicken breasts instead of the whole egg).  The wilted escarole is a really great preparation versus just having it as a cold salad.  I made buttermilk mashed potatoes for the side and all in all was really impressed!  A full meal, quick and easy! This is definitely going into dinner rotation.

Polenta-Crusted Chicken with Balsamic Caper Pan Sauce

Gourmet |  January 2009

by Melissa Roberts


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup polenta (preferably quick-cooking)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch thick between sheets of plastic wrap
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound escarole, torn into bite-size pieces


Lightly beat eggs with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Whisk together polenta, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in another shallow bowl.

Dip chicken in egg, letting excess drip off, then dredge in polenta mixture.

Heat vegetable oil and 1/3 cup olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until oil shimmers. Cook chicken in batches, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered.

Pour off oil and wipe skillet, then heat remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, water, capers, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and briskly simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and swirl in butter.

Toss escarole with about half of sauce and pile on top of chicken. Serve remaining sauce on the side.

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One Response to Polenta-Crusted Chicken with Balsamic Caper Pan Sauce

  1. Syrahsuzie says:

    Sounds just what I need for this weekend – I’ve got lots to do, not much time for cooking but still in holiday mood so I’ll give it a go. Thanks for the inspiration.

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