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2 tbs. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 3-4lb chicken, cut up, bone in, skin on
1 package lagunia style sausage
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 small package sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/4 c. chopped, fresh basil
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper
Creamy Polenta (to serve, optional)
2 c. water
2 c. milk
1 c. half & half
1 c. polenta
1 tsp. salt
Season chicken pieces on both sides with salt & pepper.
In a large stock pot, add olive oil and heat over medium flame. Add in onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add in garlic and cook for another minute.
Working in batches, brown chicken and sausage on all sides, setting the browned pieces aside on a plate. Keep an eye on the onions at the bottom of the pan, as they start to brown move them around so they don't burn.
When all the meat is browned and set aside, add tomatoes into pot and start scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Add mushrooms to the pot and stir. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Add fresh herbs to the tomato and stir. Finally add all of the meat back into the pot, covering it with the tomato sauce. Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow to simmer for 2 hours.
FOR THE POLENTA
Combine water, milk and half and half into a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until simmering. Do not let it boil.
Mix salt with polenta. Slowly pour polenta into simmering milk, whisking as you pour to prevent any clumping.
Add thyme leaves. Continue whisking polenta until it becomes thick and creamy and is hard to stir. Remove from heat.
Spoon some polenta into the bottom of a bowl. Then top with chicken cacciatore. The chicken should be falling off the bone and the sausage will cut with a fork.