If you’re a fan of sloppy joes and polenta, then you are going to love today’s recipe. And, if you are NOT a fan of the tedious process of having to continuously stir polenta, then you are going to like this even more. The only stirring you have to do is at the beginning and once towards the end. That’s it.
I ran across an article on Fine Cooking, which told how to get creamy polenta without stirring. Whoa. Creamy, delicious polenta without stirring? YES! Of course, you could just cook up some instant or a quick cooking kind. That’s certainly okay by me. It would certainly speed up the process and get dinner on the table much faster. I’d just make sure that it was a non-gmo or organic one.
After a quick search, I did find a brand of organic quick cooking (not instant) polenta that had really good reviews on Amazon. It’s called de la Estancia, and according to their website, it’s sold at some Albertson’s grocery stores. I don’t shop at Albertson’s, so I haven’t personally seen it there though. Most of the corn that is produced today is genetically modified, so you that’s why you want to look for non-gmo or organic polenta and corn meal.
If you prefer, you could certainly serve this the traditional way on a hamburger bun. I just happen to love it served over a nice bed of creamy polenta. Total comfort food.
If you are only serving two people at a time like at our house, then I recommend pouring the extra polenta into a buttered square or rectangular dish. It’s best to do this at the same time as you serve yourself, while the polenta is still plenty soft and pliable. The next time you serve it, you have two options. A. You can cut it into pieces and pan fry it in a little butter. B. You could reheat it gently on the stovetop, adding a little water at a time to bring back to your desired consistency. I personally recommend pan frying it.
Smokey Sloppy Joe Over Creamy Polenta
- 5 cups water
- 1 cup polenta meal
- 1 tbsp butter , plus more for greasing baking pan
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt or more to taste
- 1 tbsp ghee , coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 lb . ground chicken
- 1/2 medium onion , finely chopped
- 1 stalk of celery , finely chopped
- 2 small carrots (or 1 large), finely grated
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups of strained tomatoes (or tomato puree)
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- three green onions (green parts only), thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 1 1/2 or 2 quart baking dish with butter. Add the water, polenta, salt and butter and mix together with a fork. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes Remove from the oven and stir. Place back into the oven and bake for another ten minutes. Let the polenta rest for five minutes before serving.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium high heat. Add the ground chicken, breaking up with a spoon while it begins to brown. Add the chopped onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until softened. Add the grated carrot, smoked paprika, garlic powder, sea salt and tomato paste, toss to coat the meat mixture, and let cook for about a minute. Add the strained tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar and honey to the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a slow simmer and let cook for about 15-20 minutes. Serve over creamy polenta and garnish with sliced green onions.