Sunday, March 21, 2010

BBQ-Spiced Chicken with Salsa Salad and Polenta

After seeing polenta on Top Chefs' menus week after week on the Food Network, my husband and I decided to do some research on this yellow porridge-y goodness. It was then that we decided to add it to our "culinary bucket list."

We've made homemade polenta a few times, but after flipping through a handful of recipes that called for quick-cook polenta, it was time to try it the easy way. Rachael Ray's "Big Orange Book" (see below) is a new cookbook in our home and we're still testing it out. This recipe was another test and what a tasty success! The original recipe is for pumpkin-chipotle polenta, but if you want to cut time, or (in my case) can't find pumpkin puree or chipotle in adobo sauce, no worries.


  • 1 tbsp grill seasoning
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 4 tbsp EVOO
  • 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  • handful of fresh chopped cilantro leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 C chicken stock
  • 1 C milk (or half-and-half)
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, finely chopped, and 2 tsp adobo sauce
  • 3/4 C quick-cooking polenta
  • 1 - 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp butter
  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat or heat an outdoor grill.
  2. Mix the grill seasoning, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and brown sugar in a large resealable plastic bag. Coat the chicken with 1 tbsp of the EVOO and add it to the bag, turning to coat the chicken evenly in the spices. Let the chicken hang out for a few minutes.

  3. Chop and combine the tomatoes, bell pepper and onions in a salad bowl.

  4. Place the chicken on the grill plan or grill and cook for 6 to 7 minutes on each side.

  5. Dress the salad with the lime juice and the remaining 3 tbsp of EVOO. Add the cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Heat the stock and milk (or half-and-half) in a large sauce pot with the chipotle and adobo sauce. Whisk in the polenta and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken, then stir in the pumpkin puree and heat to warm through. Stir in the honey and butter and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve the polenta topped with the chicken and with the salsa salad alongside.
Et voila!


  1. Yum. I have never had polenta but the chipotle pumpkin mixture sounds delicious.

  2. Thanks for the recipes here I have read many articles on the salad but this one have something which take only minutes of time. I don’t know if anyone can found this simple Caesar salad recipe. I will forwarded this to my friends who going to use it as a reference.
    Bbq Salads