Tonight was my very first attempt at making homemade polenta. Because of this special day, I did not want my polenta to go unnoticed like mashed potatoes when served with prime rib (who notices the mashed potatoes anyway) or rice when served with teriyaki chicken. I wanted the polenta to be memorable.
|Braised Chicken and Italian Sausage over Soft Polenta
served with Brussel Sprouts Two Ways
My logic went something like this: cheesy polenta, will go with spicy italian sausage, too much sausage will overpower polenta, how about chicken, chicken is not rich enough in flavor, how about sausage and chicken together, braised, in white wine and tomatoes, yes. As I had hoped, the polenta soaked up all the complex flavors of the braising broth and was absolutely perfect.
My secret to making perfect polenta is the use of parmigiano-reggiano. While parmesan is the same cheese but produced outside of those original Italian cities, parmigiano-reggiano is held to much stricter aging standards. Thus, using this specific cheese gives a sharper taste to the polenta. Try it, and you will become a believer like me.