Drunken Chicken with Olives and Polenta

Serves 6


I have enjoyed several versions of this fragrant Mexican stew and particularly like this one, developed specifically to go with polenta.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 chicken thighs (see Note below)
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch rounds
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 3 or 4 serrano or jalapeño peppers, sliced in small rounds
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seed
  • 1- 1/2 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper corns
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 3/4 cup medium dry sherry
  • 4 ounces salt-cured black olives
  • kosher salt
  • Soft Polenta, seasoned with olives and herbs (see Note below)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Place the olive oil in a heavy, oven-proof skillet large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer, and set it over medium heat. Brown the chicken on both sides and transfer it to a plate. Add the onions and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and peppers and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Add the spices, sherry, and olives and season with kosher salt. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and place in a 325 degree F oven for 45 minutes, until the chicken is very tender. Remove from the oven and serve with Chile and Cilantro polenta or olive polenta.

Note: I prefer both the flavor and texture of chicken thighs, and use them wherever I can. However, any part of the chicken—legs, breast, or even a whole chicken cut into pieces—can be used in this recipe.

Note: Toss together 3/4 cup pitted sliced olives (for best results use a combination of Nicoise, Picholine, and Kalamata olives), 1 teaspoon minced fresh basil, and 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano. Add to the polenta with the pepper, butter, and cheese.

by Michele Anna Jordan
Broadway Books
$19.95; 1997
ISBN 0-553-06732-X
Copyright © 1997 Michele Anna Jordan.
Reprinted by permission.



Making Soft Polenta
Polenta Recipes (by Michele Anna Jordan)
Additional Polenta Recipes

This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007

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