Braised Chicken and Fennel with Creamy Polenta


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

Weeknight Gluten Free

Weeknight Gluten Free

By Kristine Kidd

Published 2013

  • About

Tomato paste is a flavorful gluten-free thickener with the bonus of adding great color to braises and stews. I prefer the products that come in a squeezable tube, because they stay fresh for months.


  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves, 2
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Pancetta, oz (45 g) chopped
  • Fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon
  • Yellow onion, 1, coarsely chopped
  • Fennel bulb, 1, trimmed, quartered, cored and then sliced, fronds reserved
  • Bay leaves, 2
  • Tomato paste, 1 tablespoon
  • Dry white wine, ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml)
  • Gluten-free chicken broth, ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml)
  • Creamy Weeknight Polenta, using chopped fennel fronds as the herb


  1. Using poultry shears, cut the chicken breasts in half crosswise. Pat dry and sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Pour off the fat from the pan and return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and fennel seeds and sauté 30 for seconds. Add the onion, sliced fennel bulb, and bay leaves. Sauté until the vegetables begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring up the browned bits.
  3. Return the chicken to the pan with any juices accumulated on the plate. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, turning after 6 minutes, 12–15 minutes total, depending on the size of the chicken. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  4. Divide the polenta between 2 warmed plates. Top with the chicken and sauce. Sprinkle with minced fennel fronds and serve right away.