I love cooking a roast chicken.  Even the most straight forward preparations or they are tender and delicious.  In this recipe video, the chicken itself is simply prepared; as is some cheesy polenta; as is an easy mushroom sauce.  But the combination of the three, create a complete meal, with complex flavors and textures – perfect for Sunday supper any time of the year, but especially as summer starts to fade, the weather turns cooler, and the meals start to get heartier.  Obviously, roasting a chicken isn’t a 20 minute meal…but pretty much everything can be done easily in less than 2 hours, including prep time, and we’re going to make the sauce and polenta while the chicken cooks.  And…you’ll have some leftovers for a quick meal during the week.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

To make the best roast chicken possible I want you to play close attention to these few cooking techniques:

  • The Roast Chicken is obviously the most important part of this recipe.  It's not hard to cook - the only thing that can wrong is undercooking...or overcooking.  Want to make sure you don’t do either?  Buy a meat thermometer and cook the bird until it reads 155; then remove it and let rest for 10 minutes – you’ll be fine
  • Cook the bird at high heat…400 degrees.  That gets the skin nice and crispy and keeps the meat juicy; cover with foil if the skin browns too quickly
  • If you have time, brine the chicken
  • You can easily make the polenta ahead of time, and reheat it

RECIPE FOR ROAST CHICKEN, CHEESY POLENTA & MUSHROOM SAUCE

Ingredients (for two)

  • Half cup of polenta
  • 2 cups of chicken stock - for the polenta
  • Half cup of gruyere (or other Swiss) cheese
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chicken
  • 7 – 8 crimini mushrooms, sliced in half or quarters
  • Splash of red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock - for the chicken
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

Making the Recipe

  • Clean the chicken and let it air dry for 30 – 45 minutes out of the fridge
  • Season with salt, pepper and herbs if desired
  • Put the chicken into 400 degree oven, with a thermometer in the thickest part of the breast
  • About 30 minutes after the chicken goes into the oven; start the polenta
  • Add the stock to a pot and bring to a boil
  • Once simmering, slowly whisk in the polenta
  • Over the next few minutes the polenta will thicken quite a bit; which is normal
  • Season with a few pinches of salt and pepper, and continue to cook, stirring a few seconds every 7 -8 minutes or so
  • Once the polenta has started, sauté the mushrooms in a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 10 minutes; move the pan to the oven to roast at the same time as the chicken
  • Remove the mushrooms from the oven after they have roasted, the water inside is largely evaporated; that should be after about 15 – 20 minutes; set aside while the chicken cooks
  • Go to the roasting chicken and add half the chicken stock to the roasting pan
  • The polenta should be soft is in about 30 minutes. If needed you can add additional water as it cooks to prevent it from sticking or burning.
  • If your chicken needs more cooking time, simply turn the heat off the polenta
  • When the chicken reaches a temp of 155; remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes; while it rests
  • Pour the drippings from the roasting pan and separate the fat; put the polenta and mushrooms back on the heat
  • Add a few splashes of red wine to the mushrooms, and let the wine reduce by half
  • Add the pan drippings and half the remaining chicken stock and allow to reduce
  • As the pan sauce reduces, add the gruyere cheese, cream and a pinch of salt and pepper to the polenta; stir to combine
  • After the pan sauce has reduced, add some water to the cornstarch, to form a slurry and little by little add the slurry to the sauce, stirring as you go.  Continue until you get the desired thickness.  Taste the sauce, you can either add more salt/pepper or thin it out with more chicken stock or water.
  • Everything is ready now!!  Carve the bird, put the polenta on the plate, a little chicken on top, and drizzle with your sauce
  • Hope you enjoy it!!
Total Time: 
150minutes
Prep Time: 
30minutes
Cook Time: 
120minutes
Main Ingredient: 
Roast Chicken