Sunday, 5 February 2012

Vintage Recipe Swap: Baked Polenta Stuffed Chicken with Sage

Well I am probably cheating a wee bit here, as this is not a new recipe but one I have posted on my blog before.  I hope that none of my fellow recipe swappers are too cross at me for what may look like laziness on my part.  My excuse for this is that I have just gone back to work after seven months off on Maternity Leave.  I hope you agree though that it does fit very well with the recipe Christianna has chosen for this months’ recipe swap – Wild Rice Dressing.

It has been a strange week of mixed emotions but I have enjoyed being back at work, this despite missing my wee ones.  There are some exciting things going on at work and I guess not everyone gets to arrange the launch of their company’s Nigeria office, task their colleagues in Libya, organise training for personnel working in hostile environments and sessions on the challenges facing those looking to work in such desirable locations as Iraq, Colombia, Libya, East Africa, West Africa, Piracy and the Caspian Basin and still go home to be mummy to three gorgeous bairns by night.  I do consider myself a very lucky lady!

I am only working four days a week at the moment, so will have an extended weekend with the children.  We are therefore hoping that the cold but beautiful weather we had in Aberdeen today will continue tomorrow so we can get outside to play - despite our northerly location, we have not yet come to a weather induced standstill as they have in England this weekend. Anyway, Mondays in this house are for making muffins (for inclusion in lunch boxes for the rest of the week) and tomorrow we’ll be making use of the pears languishing in the fruit bowl (yes the girls declared a like for pears and again I bought them in vast quantity convinced their fruit intake would increase – it hasn’t).  I’ll keep you posted as to our success or otherwise in the pear and choc chip muffin venture.

Back to this post though and as always, I am part of a gang of, I believe nearly 30, food-crazed bloggers who are part of the Burwell General Store Vintage Recipe Swap.  This is our third monthly foray into the delights ofThe Second Ford Treasury of Favourite Recipes From Famous Eating Places”.  Please visit the links below to see all the other contributors to the swap and their delicious recipes.

Here is my contribution – I hope you like it..


4 Chicken Breasts

8 slices prosciutto crudo

Fresh sage – 12 leaves

20g butter

For the stuffing:

50g polenta

20g bread crumbs (they don’t have to be fresh but homemade are best)

½ stick of celery

½ onion

1 small clove of garlic

Fresh sage – about one heaped dessert spoon finely chopped

Fresh thyme – about one teaspoon finely chopped

40g butter

½ of one beaten egg


Finely chop the sage, thyme, onion, garlic and celery.

Put the polenta in a saucepan (one larger than you would think necessary as the polenta grows quite a bit when you add the water) and add 375ml of water. Heat it on a low heat and simmer and stir for approximately 10 minutes until the polenta is thick and smooth.

Add 20g of the butter and stir well, then add the sage, thyme, onion, garlic and celery and mix well.

Remove from the heat and add the breadcrumbs mix again and then add the beaten egg, stirring well and seasoning with salt and pepper.

Allow the polenta mix to cool and set aside until it can be handled.

Prepare the chicken by slicing each breast open along the middle of one side so you can simply turn it like a page to open it up to add the stuffing.

Take about a dessert spoon of the polenta mix and make into a loose sausage-type shape, open the chicken breasts place the stuffing inside and close over so that none of the stuffing is showing. (There will probably be a little bit more stuffing than is required).

Place three of the sage leaves on the top of each breast and wrap each of the breasts with two slices of the prosciutto crudo.

Mash half the remaining butter (about 20g) onto the bottom of an oven proof dish (I use a lasagne dish for this) and place the chicken breasts close together on top of the butter. Divide the last 20g butter roughly in four and put a piece on top of each chicken breast. Season well and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Cover with tin foil and put in the oven for around 35 minutes – uncover for around the last ten minutes – basting the chicken well after taking off the foil. (I use quite large chicken breasts so the cooking time will be less if you use smaller pieces of chicken)

(Serves 4)
I usually serve this with new potatos and a nice green salad. Enjoy!


  1. I love the idea of a polenta-sage stuffing! This looks like just the thing for a chilly winter day.

  2. Never thought of using Polenta as a stuffing. It is a wonderful idea!

  3. I have never had polenta. Odd I know. It's just not popular here. But this looks amazing and makes me want to try it.

  4. This looks really yummy - after eating plain polenta at Phillip's parent's place one too many times - this dish displays polenta in a new and interesting light and actually makes me want to purchase it again. Thanks

  5. I sure don't have a problem with you repeating something. You've certainly got a great reason but more than means we get a peek at this amazing dish. So charming to read your post too; I hope the transition goes well for you.

  6. Balancing work and family can certainly feel like a lot sometimes, looks like you are doing great! The other thing that looks great is your recipe - more and more polenta is making its way into my world, this sounds like a great way to use it.

  7. Hi Claire! Such a big change to go back to work but to YOUR kind of work! I can imagine it must feel that you have a foot in two totally different worlds. Your dish looks lovely. I love all the flavors you have chosen and I'm sure it's a very satisfying dish at this chilly time of year.

  8. I can totally forgive you for re-posting a recipe! This recipe is delicious, and I'm sure it's hard to transition back into work after 7 months of maternity leave! I hope that work is treating you well, and I think this recipe works wonderfully for the swap. :)

  9. Going back to work is sooooo difficult. My first couple of months back after maternity leave were emotionally taxing! You're TOTALLY forgiven!

  10. No, you are not forgiven! You only have to be a mother, a wife, and a full-fledged character from a Ludlum novel... Hello? I cannot believe that you have any time left for yourself, let alone for concocting the most original and timely recipes:)
    I love your stuffed chicken. I have been cooking thighs and legs lately, and breast only in saucy foods, but stuffing also makes them juicier:)
    Good luck with going back to work and managing time:)

  11. What a delicious dinner idea - I'm always looking for new recipes that involve chicken!

  12. Your job sounds fascinating!
    Polenta is something I never would have thought to use as a stuffing. It's always on the bottom of the plate but I love what you did with it here!

  13. I just went to an event where they served rabbit stuffed with grits and wrapped in bacon and it was my favorite dish of the event. So naturally, I think yours sounds so good...and very similar. I am going to have to make yours soon!

  14. Wow that is indeed a busy, incredibly interesting schedule! Congratulations on getting back to work and my sympathies at missing your babies!!


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