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Chicken with Asiago Grits

Chicken with Asiago GritsSouthern comfort food with a pronounced air of elegance makes this dish perfect for entertaining. Recipe by Chef Frank Stitt.

Recipe Ingredients:

For Asiago Soft Grits:
3 3/4 cups water
2 1/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup uncooked regular grits
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Wisconsin Asiago cheese

For Sauce and Chicken:
1/2 pound fresh portabella mushrooms
1/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms
1/4 pound fresh morel or chanterelle mushrooms
7 teaspoons olive oil - divided use
3 chickens (2 pounds each) cut up
6 medium carrots, each cut into 4 pieces
4 small onions, quartered
4 stalks celery, each cut into 4 pieces
2 medium leeks, each trimmed and quartered
4 bay leaves
1 bunch (1/2 ounce total) fresh thyme
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1/3 cup shallot, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
Parsley leaves, for garnish
Fresh chives, for garnish

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Asiago Soft Grits: Bring water, broth, salt, pepper and garlic to a boil in large saucepan. Gradually stir in grits. Cover and reduce heat simmering 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in milk and grated cheese. Serve warm.
  2. For Sauce and Chicken: Using a sharp knife, remove brown gills from the undersides of portabella mushrooms and discard gills. Remove and reserve stems from portabella, shiitake and morel mushrooms. Slice mushroom caps and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add half the chicken legs and wings and sauté 8 minutes or until browned. Place in large stockpot and set aside. Repeat procedure with 2 teaspoons olive oil and remaining legs and wings.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrot pieces, onions, celery, leeks, bay leaves and fresh thyme. Sauté 12 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned. Add carrot mixture to stockpot. Stir in reserved mushroom stems and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer one hour.
  5. Remove chicken legs and wings, set aside, and keep warm. Strain stock through a colander into a large bowl, and set stock aside. Discard solids.
  6. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat and add remaining uncooked chicken pieces and cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until done, turning as needed. Remove from skillet and set aside and keep warm.
  7. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and 2 teaspoons thyme and sauté 1 minute. Add sliced mushroom caps, sauté 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered 7 minutes or until sauce is reduced to 6 cups.
  8. Serve with Asiago Soft Grits.

Makes 12 servings.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.