The Chicken or the Egg?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Take 1: Balsamic Glazed Chicken served with Spinach Cheese Polenta

Take 2: Eggs Sunny Side Up, over Spinach Cheese Polenta, drizzled with Balsamic Glaze

In my house, the Chicken came first, Thursday night for dinner…but the Egg followed not long after for a delicious Saturday brunch!

I am all about making my life as easy as possible, and it truly gives me great joy when I can create a satisfying “take 2” meal using leftovers. This great chicken recipe uses a no-fuss marinade that becomes a gorgeous, thick syrup when it’s reduced. The acidity and saltiness from the balsamic and soy sauce is balanced by the caramel sweetness from the honey and brown sugar, and the garlic and rosemary in the background add a subtle aroma that rounds it all out.

To pack this dinner/brunch one-two punch yourself, simply fry up some eggs and reheat the leftover polenta in the morning. The marinade should be extra thick after being in the fridge, perfect drizzling consistency. BTW, I learned a nice trick for getting sunny side up eggs to the right level of doneness (runny but not scary raw) from A Dash of Stash, who “bastes” his eggs with the hot oil from the pan. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, try [No Recipes]’s technique for slow cooked eggs.

Enjoy! You can use all that extra time on the weekend to crawl back into bed :)

Balsamic Glazed Chicken Drumettes
(adapted from Giada De Laurentiis), serves 4-6
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
5 sprigs of rosemary
5 garlic cloves, halved
10 to 12 chicken drumsticks
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Combine the balsamic, honey, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a large bowl or zip lock. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. Add rosemary sprigs and garlic cloves. Add the chicken drumsticks to the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the chicken drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the skin is caramelized and very dark in spots, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil (in order to kill bacteria). Reduce the heat to simmer and cook over low heat until thick, about 15 minutes. Reserve.

Using a pastry brush (or spoon if you don’t have one), baste the chicken with some of the cooked marinade about 15 minutes into the cooking, and then again at the end.

Place the chicken on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Save the leftover reduced sauce for your eggs.

Print Recipe

Polenta with Spinach and Cheese
(Serves 4 for dinner, with enough left over to make brunch for 2.)

4 cups water
4 cups milk (I use 2% reduced fat)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking polenta (good quality cornmeal)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
4 Tbsp butter
½ cup grated Gruyere (or your favorite melty cheese)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano

Combine the water, milk, and salt in a heavy large saucepan (or pot). Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Gradually whisk in the polenta. Decrease the heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until polenta thickens, about 5 minutes.

Make sure you squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible. Add the spinach and garlic to the polenta. Continue to stir constantly to keep scalding bubbles from popping up.

Stir in the butter and cheese. Season the polenta, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Print Recipe

Stumble It!
Posted by Stephanie at 11:06 am

22 Responses to “The Chicken or the Egg?”

  1. Sarah says:

    Steph! These dishes look DEEELISH! Can’t wait to try them out myself :)

  2. Thanks for the link:-) Regarding the question you left on my blog about the yolk, it’s not runny per se, it’s better. The yolk sets at a lower temp than the white, so while the white ends up like a custard (think chawanmushi), the yolk is a bit firmer, but doesn’t end up hard, chalky, pasty or any other word you’d typically use to describe a cooked egg yolk. It’s still silky smooth like a raw yolk, but firm. I guess you could say it “runs” slower. I think the best comparison I can think of right now is really thick honey, or clotted cream.

  3. Anna B says:

    This sounds great! I was looking for a recipe for tonight but I don’t have 2 hours to let the chicken marinade. This dish is definitely going on my weekend menu. Also I am a huge fan of sunnyside up eggs. Always have been, always be! I like my yolk runny but I want the whites completely cooked. My favorite trick is when the egg is almost done add just a sprinkle of water and cover the pan for :30 to a minute. The steam will cook the top of the egg, so you will have no gooey white but a great yolk.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Sarah: thanks girlie! let me know how it turns out!

    Marc: thank YOU! thick honey yolk…that sounds amazing. and this is why i link to your site ;)

    Anna: you know, i bet if you use a thinner cut of chicken, like strips, you could get away with minimal marinating time (30 min?). especially since you’ll be reducing the sauce to glaze while and after it’s cooking, there should be plenty of flavor. I actually recommend not letting it marinate overnight b/c i find that the marinade becomes too watery and takes much longer to reduce. Thanks for the sunny side up trick! i’ll have to try that next time :)

  5. Stacey says:

    Hi Steph, this is Stacey (Aunt Jeannie’s Daughter), I love reading food blogs and am glad that I found yours.. your pictures and descriptions are awesome. I also love giada and will have to try that chicken.
    p.s. i’m super jealous that you are in SF, I’m looking at grad schools in California :)

  6. Hua says:

    both are extraordinary!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Stacey: Hi! it’s so good to hear from you! this is going to sound so hokey, but i can’t believe you are so grown up now — grad school?!! let me know if you are ever in the area, i’d love to see you! happy cooking :)

    Hu-ahhh: I love feeding you :)

  8. Nirvana says:

    These look fabulous!

  9. Stephanie says:

    Nirvana: Thank you! It was really easy too, give it a try!

  10. Zain says:

    I learned to baste my sunny side up eggs from my mom, so I have the technique, I’ve got to try this recipe!

  11. Eunice says:

    AHHHH it looks amazing! those recipes have me drooling. yes. drooling. that’s it! i’ve had ENOUGH with dessert!

    *cups mouth* how did i say that!??!?! LOL

  12. ginita says:

    hi stephanie…love your blog! the story about the ph in eggs is hysterical…and your recipe here for the polenta sounds delicious…i like to buy fresh spinach from our friends at the farmers mkt – or is frozen better in this case? g

    • Stephanie says:

      thanks ginita :) haha yeah…i’m still convinced my dad was just trying to gross me out…although wikipedia did acknowledge the folklore….
      by all means use fresh spinach! i bet it will make it even tastier. bon appetito!

  13. Chili says:

    The Polenta with Spinach and Cheese with the eggs draped over it is making my mouth water! I am one of those people who can top just about anything with a sunny side up fried egg. I have a chili recipe where I do the same. YUM! Thanks for the recipe.

  14. Both of these recipes sound amazing and both pictures are beautiful! Thank you for sharing these; I can’t wait to try them!

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