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Richard Blais—"Top Chef" winner and host of the new Fox show "Next Level Chef!"—created this amazing sweet, salty and savory meal based on the everyday reality of looking in the fridge and pantry, seeing what's there and figuring out what to make for dinner. The recipe is easy enough for a weeknight, but impressive enough for guests!
Many of the ingredients are staples, but you can always substitute or omit things as needed. Richard says chicken thighs are a go-to for him because they are juicy, flavorful and really hard to overcook. Here he uses boneless, skinless thighs, but bone-in, skin-on are fine, too, and you can even use chicken breasts, if you like.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
For the polenta, in a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil, then whisk in the polenta and cook, stirring constantly, for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cream and continue stirring and cooking for about 5 minutes more. (Note that depending on the polenta you have, the cooking time and amount of liquid may need adjusting. When in doubt, follow the instructions on the package.) Fold in the Boursin and Parm, then season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.
For the chicken, season the thighs with salt and pepper and dredge in flour (if using). In a large skillet, heat the clarified butter until smoking and sear the chicken until golden on each side. Transfer the chicken to a baking dish or tray, reserving the skillet, and roast until just cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the sauce, in the skillet used for the chicken, cook the pancetta over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for another minute. Add the garlic, peppers, olives and raisins, cook for another minute, and deglaze with the sherry. Add the butter, stir to incorporate, then remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the chicken over the polenta with the sauce on top.