Polenta With Wild Mushrooms and Chicken Leftovers-Serves 4
Prep and Cooking Time: 35 minutes
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (preferably homemade or low sodium)
1 cup polenta (try to avoid the instant stuff if you can)
About 2 ounces wild mushrooms (or Shiitake, as I used)
1 Tb. olive oil
A few ounces of cooked chicken, shredded haphazardly
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan or another hard cheese, for grating on top
Step 1: Boil your stock in a small soup pan, and pour in the polenta. Keep that boiling for 30 minutes, at least. Whisk it every once in a while, because otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the pan. Heidi recommends wearing an apron, as the polenta has a tendency to spit as it boils, which you'll find endearing until it burns you.
Step 2: Clean the dirt off your mushrooms with a paper towel or cloth, and remove any woody stems. Cut them into strips if they're big, or leave them as they are if they're little, like bite-sized morels.
Step 3: After the polenta has been cooking for about 20 minutes, heat the olive oil in a pan, then toss in all the mushrooms and pieces of chicken. Let this heat up for about a minute, then pour in your wine or vermouth and cook for about 3 more minutes, until the mushrooms look a little wilted. Taste both the polenta and the mushrooms as they cook, and add a pinch salt and pepper if either one seems to lack flavor.
Step 4: Once the polenta has been boiling for about 30 minutes, pour some into a shallow bowl. Top this with your mushroom-chicken mixture. Grate some parmesan on top.
Step 5: Bask in self-appreciation that you have created such a warming, rich, and delicious dinner in little time and with not too many bowls to wash. Also congratulate yourself that this meal delivers lots of niacin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C through the polenta, and lots of Vitamin D through those tastily earthy mushrooms.
The past week may have been rough for you, too, but I can see the next one from here, and it simply burgeons with hope.