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I often find myself writing blog posts in my head. Everywhere I am. Driving down the road, in the shower, and especially while I am cooking. While I was cooking this meal, I was completely planning on writing about how I didn’t really like this recipe, and how it’s one of the few Rachael Ray recipes that has let me down.

And then I tasted it. And I was pleasantly surprised. I actually really liked it!! Maybe it was the mood I was in when I first started cooking, but I totally wasn’t feeling it at first. But I’m always happy to be wrong when I think that it’s going to be bad!!

This is actually my first Rachael Ray recipe that I’m posting from one of her cookbooks. For being such a big Rachael Ray fan, and a cookbook collector, I’m kind of embarrassed that I didn’t even own one of her cookbooks up until a few weeks ago. I was actually at a local thrift/donation store, (which by the way – is a great place to pick up dishes and props for photos!) and I decided to check out the cookbook section. Usually I try to stay clear of them, because they are so tempting and I really don’t need another cookbook. But imagine my surprise when I saw several of Rachael Ray’s cookbooks there on the shelf! I limited myself to 3 of them. You can’t beat 3 cookbooks for $7! I’m so excited to add these to my (growing) list of RR recipes that I want to try!

Italian BBQ Chicken with Polenta
adapted from Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book

serves 1

total time: 30 minutes

1 bone-in chicken thigh and leg or chicken breast
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 slice bacon, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup quick-cooking polenta
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
a few leaves of basil, torn

Preheat the oven to 400F. Place a baking sheet or a baking dish in the oven to heat.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and the poultry seasoning on both sides. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a saute pan. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to the baking sheet or baking dish and bake until cooked through to 165F, 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add in the bacon and cook until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of the chicken stock. Bring to a bubble and then let simmer until slightly thickened.

In a saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock and the milk. Bring to a boil and whisk in the polenta. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan.

Serve the chicken over the polenta and topped with the bbq sauce and torn basil.


Saturdays with Rachael Ray rules:

* You can link any blog post, present or past, as long as it is a Rachael Ray recipe.
* Your blog post must link back to this post, mentioning Saturdays with Rachael Ray.

That’s it!! Simple, simple. Just make sure the recipe is a Rachael Ray recipe – it doesn’t matter if it comes from her talk show, 30-Minute Meals, her magazine, or one of her cookbooks. But it must be from Rachael Ray. Any posts that don’t follow these two rules will be deleted from the linky.

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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17 Responses to Saturdays with Rachael Ray | Italian BBQ Chicken with Polenta

  1. Katrina says:

    Cool recipe! I’m glad it ended up turning out :)

  2. Looks delicious!!! I love finding great stuff at the thrift store. You scored big time with the cookbooks!!!

  3. Joanne says:

    I’m pretty sure at three cookbooks for seven dollars, you had no CHOICE but to purchase! I’m so glad the recipe turned out…I always love when I’m pleasantly surprised.

  4. What a great idea to look for cookbooks at the thrift store! What other RR cookbooks did you score? I own The Big Orange Book as well and haven’t done much cooking out of it yet. Glad this one turned out for you.

    • Deborah says:

      Kindra – I got Rachael Ray’s Book of 10 and 365: No Repeats. I have a couple of recipes planned from 365: No Repeats already!

  5. briarrose says:

    Oh yum….the bbq sauce looks perfect across the top.

  6. Haha! I am totally the same way about blog posts. I ‘write’ them up in my head and they are so witty and clever and then when I sit down to type them up I can’t remember what I wanted to write.

    Oh and I second the whole thrift store thing with buying plates, bowls, etc for food pictures. I was in there the other day and picked up a single plate. The cashier asked why I would want just 1 plate. I laughed because he really has no idea the mind of a food blogger!!!

  7. So glad I found your blog! I too write blog posts in my head as I am going through my day! I linked my Asian Burger recipe to your Rachael Ray series. I went back to edit my post to mention your blog as well. I am actually making another Rachael Ray dinner tonight – so I will link that when I post about it! Love her! Thanks!

  8. Simply Life says:

    wow, what a great meal – I really need to start using polenta more!

  9. Julie says:

    That really does sound amazing! It’s great it turned out better than you expected :)

  10. Ellie (Almost Bourdain) says:

    Beautiful meal. Love your bog.

  11. Madeline says:

    I really need to pull out BOB again. I get lazy and just pull recipes from her magazine and talk show! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Ooh, this does look rather lovely and unusual. I am rather inspired to try polenta!

  13. chicken looks really tasty!

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