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Braised Chicken Thighs & Artichokes with Polenta

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  • Author: Sabrina Russo
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Braised chicken thighs and baby artichokes over polenta make for a warm and comforting dish perfect for these cool, fall months.




  • 1 cup medium-ground yellow corn meal
  • 2 cups homemade or low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 tbsp butter, sliced
  • Kosher salt


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 3 tbsp, extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 12 pinches hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed but intact
  • 2lb baby artichokes, trimmed and cut in half
  • ½ cup olives of choice, pitted and roughly chopped (I used cerignola)
  • ½ cup dry, white wine
  • 1 ½ cups (or as needed) homemade or low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp butter, sliced
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper


  1. Make polenta: Heat stock and milk in a small pot to a rapid simmer. Whisk in corn meal, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring every 8-10 minutes, for a total of 40-50 minutes or until tender and creamy. Add additional water (up to a cup or so), as needed, while cooking to maintain desired consistency. When the polenta is finished cooking, stir in the cheese and butter. Add salt to taste.
  2. Preheat oven: Turn oven to 350°F.
  3. Season & Brown Chicken: While polenta is cooking, season chicken generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat an oven-safe, nonstick pan over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of oil, followed by the chicken, skin-side down. Slowly render chicken fat and brown skin, about 15-18 minutes. Reduce heat, as needed, to prevent burning. Flip and increase heat. Cook about 2-4 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Cook onions & garlic: Add onions to pan and, season with salt and red pepper flakes. Cook slowly so onions sweeten and caramelize without taking on much color. Cook a total of 20-30 minutes, lowering heat to medium-low after about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté during last minute of cooking. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. Cook artichokes: Add remaining two tablespoons of oil to the pan. Increase heat to medium to medium-high. Add artichokes, cut-side down. Season with salt. Cook about 2-3 minutes per side or until browned.
  6. Add wine & stock: Add back onions. Stir in olives. Add wine and reduce to about 2-3 tablespoons. Add ½ cup stock. Simmer about 8-12 minutes to par-cook the artichokes.
  7. Braise chicken: Nestle chicken back into pan. Add 1 more cup of stock or enough to go ¾ way up the chicken, making sure not to wet the skin. Bring to a simmer. Transfer pan to the oven. Cook about 20-30 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  8. Reduce & finish sauce: Remove chicken from pan. Bring juices in the pan to a simmer. Reduce for about 5-10 minutes or until thickened. Swirl in butter to emulsify. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if needed.
  9. Serve: Spoon polenta on plate, top with chicken with the artichokes and sauce. Enjoy.


  • To trim artichokes, set up a bowl with cold water and several lemons squeezed into it. Using a paring knife, pull off outer leaves until you reach the tender, inner leaves. Trim off the top ½ inch of artichoke. Peel off thin outer layer of bottom stem. Rub trimmed artichoke on the inside of a cut half of lemon. Transfer to lemon water. When all artichokes are trimmed, remove from water, pat dry and slice in half lengthwise.
  • Proportion wise, this is a veggie and polenta heavy dish. If you prefer more chicken, I suggest doubling the amount of chicken (8 thighs) and cutting back on the artichokes (1 1/2 lbs), onions (1/2) and polenta (2/3 cup) and adjusting the other ingredients, as needed.
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hours 30 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Braise
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1 thigh with 1/4 of polenta + vegetables
  • Calories: 1007
  • Sugar: 12.3 g
  • Sodium: 871.5 mg
  • Fat: 64.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 18.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 55 g
  • Fiber: 9.6 g
  • Protein: 52.3 g