Chicken and Zucchini with Garlicky Tomato Sauce and Polenta



  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup instant polenta (pre-cooked cornmeal)
  • 1/3 cup provolone cheese (shredded)
  • sea salt
  • 4 garlic cloves (smashed and peeled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus more, as desired)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • flour (for dredging)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (each cut lengthwise into 4 strips, about 1 1/4 lbs total)
  • 2 medium zucchini (cut into 1/4-inch rounds)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  2. Bring the water to a slight boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly stir in the polenta in a steady stream to prevent clumping. Continue stirring until the cornmeal thickens slightly, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer, stir in the cheese, and season with salt. Stir until the mixture is thick but still pourable, about 2 minutes.
  4. Pour the polenta into a lightly oiled 8 X 8 baking pan and tilt it back and forth to create a smooth, even layer. Bake uncovered until barely golden on the outside and still creamy on the inside, 30 minutes. Remove and let cool 5 minutes before slicing.
  5. To make the sauce, place the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and red pepper flakes in a shallow bowl. With the back of a fork, mash the ingredients together until the garlic is pasty. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and continue mashing until well blended.
  6. Heat a medium skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat and add the garlic mixture. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently, until very aromatic. Add the tomato paste and 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and stir 1 minute.
  7. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer slowly 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm while the chicken cooks.
  8. To prepare the chicken, combine the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a large, zip-top bag. Add the chicken and shake to coat well.
  9. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Shake any excess flour from the chicken strips and add to the skillet. (Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.)
  10. Fry 4 minutes on 1 side, then turn and fry 3 minutes on the other side, until golden and just cooked through. Remove to a plate and let rest while the zucchini cooks.
  11. Add the zucchini rounds to the drippings in the skillet and sear, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes.
  12. To serve, cut the polenta into 4 large squares (or 6 slices and save 2 for leftovers) and divide among plates. Lay 2 chicken strips over each and divide the zucchini among them. Spoon the tomato sauce over the chicken and polenta and serve right away.
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NutritionView more



Calories250Calories from Fat180
Total Fat20g31%
Saturated Fat4g20%
Trans Fat
Calories from Fat180
Total Carbohydrate13g4%
Dietary Fiber2g8%
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


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