Casseroles spell warm comfort food for fall and winter – and here’s a gluten-free version!
I simply replace the wheat-dough crust with polenta, and let the layers of chicken and sauce underneath do their magic. It’s one of Ilian’s very favorite meals, and I will be posting other versions of it – Michigan winters are loooong 😉
The process is fairly simple: While the chicken is baking, I cook tomato sauce, shredded carrots and zucchini, corn, and beans with spices, and prepare a pot of polenta.
Then everything is layered in a baking dish, topped with cheese for those who can do dairy, and after a short broil – voila! Dinner is ready.
It is enough for 2 days, so it’s one of my go-to dishes to prepare for the weekends.
Chicken Tomato Polentarole
- 1 lb chicken breast or boneless thighs
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 TBsp dried thyme
- 2 TBsp canola oil
- 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce or San Marzano tomatoes (crush with fingers)
- 3 carrots, shredded
- 1 large zucchini, shredded
- 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans
- 1 can (15 oz) corn
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp ginger powder
- 1 cup polenta
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp tarragon (- optional for non-dairy-allergic people: 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar)
- Oil baking dish with canola oil, add 2 tsp salt and 1 TBsp dried thyme. Add chicken and move meat around until evenly coated in oil and spices. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until done. Cut into small pieces.
- Place tomato sauce or crushed San Marzano tomatoes in a large skillet with shredded vegetables, beans, corn, and spices (salt, rosemary, thyme, smoked paprika, garlic, ginger). Simmer on medium heat until vegetables are soft, ca. 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Whisk in polenta, 1/4 tsp salt, and tarragon. Reduce heat to low, whisk continually for a minute, then whisk very frequently for the next 4 minutes. Let cook another 5 minutes with occasional whisking.
- In baking dish, layer chicken, tomato-veggie sauce, and polenta. If you can eat dairy, sprinkle with shredded cheese.
- Broil for 3 minutes. Let cool until comfortable to handle, enjoy!