This is one of those recipe posts that involves the use of leftovers. Easy enough and so good just on it’s own I say, these Chicken Polenta Sticks with Tomatillo Salsa Verde were awesome in taste, texture and simplicity.
Just the other evening I was in the mood for some smooth, cheesy polenta. You ever feel the need for a specific food and must have it? Well I had just picked up a rotisserie chicken and decided to shred it up and add that in for a Comfort Meal 101 dinner with a nice salad. Not only did it hit the spot, but I made enough for leftovers.
What I love about polenta is pouring the leftovers in a greased dish and then refrigerating it. It hardens and you can slice it up, pan fry it and have another meal entirely. More bang for your buck!
That’s where the idea for these Chicken Polenta Sticks with Tomatillo Salsa Verde came from. I had some fresh tomatillo salsa on hand that I made for enchiladas that I froze. One’s got to plan ahead for nights I don’t want to cook. I just pull the frozen enchiladas out of the freezer before heading to work, come home and they’re thawed and ready heat up.
Well for these I simply cut up the hardened polenta, dusted them with a little flour and pan fried them. There was a bit of spluttering, but minimal. What came out were there wonderful, crunchy on the outside and soft, creamy and cheesy on the inside polenta sticks. All the Parmesan cheese in the polenta got caramelized and crunchy good on the edges. Plus, these had the added bonus of being fortified with shredded chicken. I draped them with some tomatillo green salsa and we were in heaven.
Tomatillos are a fantastic ingredient used in Mexican cooking that lends a wonderful flavor and heat. I use them all the time, like in my Open Faced Pollo Verde Sandwich, my Tomatillo Green Chile Pork Stew and Chili Lime Rubbed Grilled Flank Steak with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa to name a few.
Feel free to use my recipe for the tomatillo salsa or your favorite. Enjoy!
Chicken Polenta Sticks. Leftover polenta with shredded chicken gets chilled, cut and pan fried until crispy brown and draped in a tomatillo salsa verde.
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup dry ground polenta
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- kosher salt to taste
- 2 rotisserie chicken breasts shredded
- cooking spray
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups Tomatillo Salsa Verde
- In a large stock pot bring the 3 cups of water up to a boil. Using a balloon whisk, slowly pour the dry polenta in boiling water and whisk to avoid lumps. Cook on low for 10 minutes. This will sputter so keep on low and watch out. Add the heavy cream, black pepper, grated Romano and Parmesan cheeses. Stir to incorporate. Add the shredded chicken and stir to incorporate.
- Simmer for another 15 minutes more. If it gets too thick you can thin it out with more water or chicken stock to your liking. Season to taste and take off the heat.
- Eat as is or pour immediately into a greased 9x9” pan and refrigerate to firm up and make Chicken Polenta Sticks. Refrigerate for several hours until firm and cooled.
- Slice the chilled and firm polenta into 12 sticks. Work in batches to not overcrowd the pan and steam them. Dust all sides with flour and pan fry until crispy brown on all edges. Serve with Tomatillo Salsa Verde.