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Polenta-Crusted Chicken with Balsamic Caper Pan Sauce

Interesting dish, this one. I think the one thing we’ll definitely take away from it was the polenta crust (though why use polenta instead of cornmeal, I’m not sure – cornmeal it seems would produce a similar result). The pan sauce was interesting as well. Will we make it again? Probably. Will we modify it some? Probably too.

Sometimes I don’t have a lot to say about a dish, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worthy of sharing with you. This one included. In other words, less chat, more food. Read on!

Polenta-Crusted Chicken with Balsamic Caper Pan Sauce

Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.


2 large eggs
1/2 cup polenta (preferably quick-cooking)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch thick between sheets of plastic wrap
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound escarole or other greens, torn into bite-size pieces


Lightly beat eggs with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Whisk together polenta, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in another shallow bowl.

Dip chicken in egg, letting excess drip off, then dredge in polenta mixture.

Heat vegetable oil and 1/3 cup olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until oil shimmers. Cook chicken in batches, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered.

Pour off oil and wipe skillet, then heat remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, water, capers, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and briskly simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and swirl in butter.

Toss escarole with about half of sauce and pile on top of chicken. Serve remaining sauce on the side.

All images and text © Lindsay Landis /

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