Pan Seared Chicken with Creamy Polenta and Bacon

I love one pot dishes.

 Pan Seared Chicken with Creamy Polenta 

Anything I can do to save washing up dishes after dinner is always welcome.  Aside from making the washing up easier, building the dish in one pan gives you a unique opportunity to develop some pretty robust flavors.  You never lose any fond, the caramelized bits that get stuck to the bottom of the pan, so all that flavor makes its way into the polenta.

Pan Seared Chicken with Creamy Polenta 

This dish starts with some automatic flavor in the form of bacon.  Of course, you can substitute pancetta if that rocks your world, but I liked the additional smokey flavor the bacon added.  Again, it is all about those layers of flavor here.  I also made my life a little easier and went for instant polenta.  It cooks really quickly which makes this dish a snap to make.  Within about 40 minutes you have a hot, hearty, and satisfying meal ready to go.  Did I mention the bacon?

Pan Seared Chicken with Creamy Polenta and Bacon   Serves 4

2 strips of thick cut bacon, chopped
2 chicken breasts, pounded out to 1/2″ thick (I had one massive chicken breast)
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 – 14 ounce cans low-sodium chicken stock
6 ounces instant polenta
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese


In a medium skillet over medium heat cook the bacon until crisp, and the fat has rendered out.  Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve.

Pan Seared Chicken with Creamy Polenta P1012014 

Increase the heat to medium high.  Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and place the chicken in the hot skillet.  Cook until the chicken is browned on both sides and has an internal temperature of 160F, about 5 minutes per side.  Set the chicken aside, covered in foil, to rest while you prepare the polenta.

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Reduce the heat in the pan to medium and add the onion.  Cook for three minutes, until it begins to soften, then add the oregano, fennel, and crushed red pepper.  Cook for about thirty seconds, until the spices are fragrant, then add the tomato paste.  Cook for one minute and add the garlic.  Cook for thirty seconds.

Pan Seared Chicken with Creamy Polenta Pan Seared Chicken with Creamy Polenta

Add the chicken stock and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.  Once the stock reaches a simmer whisk in the polenta and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and add the cream and cheese.  Stir well.


Serve the polenta immediately with slices of chicken and the crisp bacon on top.

Pan Seared Chicken with Creamy Polenta

© 2010, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

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  • I made polenta for the first time a few weeks ago…I looove it!! I can’t even imagine how good it would be with bacon. That meal looks divine.

  • I love how the polenta is soaking up all of the juices from the chicken and bacon. Looks fabulous!

  • I started drooling when I saw the picture of this dish but couldn’t understand how polenta could be that color. Then I read the recipe and now I have to try it! We all love polenta (come on, even Italians only use the instant!) but this recipe hikes it up 3 notches! Yum! Gotta try it!

  • Great idea to cook the polenta in the same pot. Can’t let all that flavor go to waste!

  • How funny… reading the responses I laughed because I thought: “Why is it orange-ish?” and now I see the ingredients 🙂 Looks fabulous!

  • What a wonderful comforting meal! It looks perfect for a cold night.

  • Bob

    So wait, is there bacon in this? 😀

    Looks amazing, I also love one pot meals. Plus washing off fond breaks my heart.

  • I can imagine how flavourful the polenta is! Looks amazing.

  • Looks evil! Yum. I love polenta. Bacon+polenta sounds even better!

  • YUM!! Bacon and polenta? Love it 🙂

  • I heard the chicken calling, then the bacon just pulled me over. I seriously need to try polenta one of these days.

  • love your photos! they want to jump right out at me. polenta is actually something we’re gonna try to make very very soon. there are so many ways to prepare polenta! your creamy polenta is quite mouth-watering.

  • This looked awesome enough to begin with… and then you had to go put bacon on it too?! oh my yum.

  • Oh yum! Anything with bacon is definitely worth trying!

  • Yum, I like a dish that starts and ends with bacon. Sounds like the flavor is intense, thanks=!

  • you had me at the bacon 🙂

  • Lizi Z

    Oh, yum! Just made this for dinner and it was great! It came together pretty quickly and was delicious! I’ll be saving this recipe!

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