Wash and pat dry all of the chicken. Heat oil and butter
in a 5-6 quart Dutch oven. Add chicken to hot
fat, a few at a time. Brown well, turning on
all sides. With tongs, remove the pieces as
they brown; set aside. This should take about
10 minutes. Add onion, garlic, carrot, celery,
parsley, salt, pepper, bay leaf, basil, and
thyme to pot.
until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Mash tomatoes
with a fork and add them and the tomato sauce.
Mix well. Bring to boiling, stirring. Reduce
heat, simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Add the
browned chicken with drippings and wine. Gently
simmer covered for 45 minutes or until tender.
Using heavy pot
(large) bring the stock to a full rolling boil.
Slowly add polenta to broth, stirring constantly
(it should not stop boiling) and 2 tablespoons
of unsalted butter. Use a wire whisk. Mixture
will become very thick. Turn heat very low.
Cook uncovered and without stirring, let a thick
crust form, leaving side of pan. This takes
20 minutes. Spoon into a lightly greased 9"
1 1/2 quart casserole, spreading evenly.
Keep warm in low
oven until you serve. With spatula, loosen around
edge and underneath. Invert on large heated
platter. Shake gently to release polenta in
a large mound. Spoon chicken and some sauce
around polenta. Pass rest of sauce in a gravy
boat. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.
I usually sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on the
top as well.
6 - 8