Monday, May 16, 2016

Make-Fast Mondays: Pesto Chicken Polenta Bowls with Artichoke Hearts and Spinach

Nothing beats the taste of fresh, homemade pesto, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep a store-bought jar or two stashed in the cabinet for those times when you want pesto in a pinch. Crack open a jar of your favorite store-bought variety and give this recipe a try. Wondering what to do with the rest of the jar? Find just a few ideas for what you can do with the leftover green goodness here.

Pesto Chicken Polenta Bowls with Artichoke Hearts and Spinach 
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup polenta
2 bay leaves
¼ cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3-4 tablespoons pesto
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
8 ounces chopped spinach

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Gradually add polenta and bay leaves, stirring for a minute, before reducing heat to low and covering the saucepan. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring the polenta for a minute every 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, remove bay leaves, and stir in the grated Parmesan. 

Once polenta is simmering, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

Heat remaining olive oil and add mushrooms to the pan, cooking until mushrooms are slightly softened. Add the chicken, artichoke hearts, pesto and red pepper flakes to the pan, stirring once or twice, until everything’s nice and warm. Add spinach and continue to cook for just a minute longer, until spinach wilts but is still a vibrant green, and everything’s got an even coating of pesto sauce. Divide polenta evenly among 6 bowls, followed by the pesto chicken mixture. Garnish with Parmesan and enjoy!

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