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Italian BBQ Chicken with Polenta in a shallow bowl

Italian BBQ Chicken with Polenta

  • Author: Deborah Harroun
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top, Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian


This Italian BBQ Chicken with Polenta is comforting and full of flavor! Bone in chicken is topped with an easy homemade bbq sauce and served over creamy polenta.



  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs, legs, or chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/3 cups quick cooking polenta
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil, torn


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place a baking sheet in the oven while it is preheating.
  2. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and the poultry seasoning.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to the baking sheet in the oven.  Bake until the chicken is cooked to 165ºF, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is in the oven, cook the bacon in the same pan that you used for the chicken. Cook until it is crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, then add the vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, and 2 cups of the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then let it cook until slightly reduced and thickened. Stir in the bacon.
  5. In another saucepan, combine the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock and the milk. Bring to a boil, then whisk in the polenta. Whisk until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve the chicken over the polenta and top with the bbq sauce. Garnish with fresh basil.

Recipe Notes:

adapted from Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book