From The Chew: Chicken Thigh Osso Buco with Creamy Polenta

This classic Italian dish usually takes hours to make—picture Nonna slaving over the stove with a wooden spoon in one hand and a cup of red wine in the other. But guess what? You can get that same rich flavor in just 45 minutes with this recipe, which substitutes chicken thighs for the traditional veal shanks for a slightly lighter—but just as flavorful—spin.

Clinton Kelly Chicken Osso Buco

Chicken Thigh Osso Buco with Creamy Polenta


  • 8 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 carrot (peeled, diced)
  • 1 stalk celery (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste (I prefer the tube to the can)
  • 1 c white wine
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme

For Polenta

  • 1 c yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese (grated)

For Classic Gremolata

  • 1/4 c parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 lemon (zested)

For Almond-Grapefruit Gremolata

  • 2 tbsp almonds (toasted and chopped)
  • 3 tbsp parsley (chopped)
  • 1 tsp grapefruit zest (minced)
  • 1 small garlic clove (pressed or finely minced)

For Roasted Garlic Mint Gremolata

  • 1/4 c parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 c mint leaves (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp roasted garlic
  • 1 tsbp orange peel (minced)


  • Place the flour in a shallow plate and season with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.
  • In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil. Sear the chicken thighs until browned on both sides, browning in batches if necessary. Remove browned thighs to a plate.
  • Add the onion, carrot and celery, sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cloves minced garlic, cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute. Add tomato paste and allow to brown another minute or so. Add the meat back to the pan then add the wine, reduce by half. Tie the herbs together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove tied herbs and discard.
  • In the meantime, make the Polenta: In a large saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Whisking, gradually add the cornmeal in a steady stream. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until thickened, whisking frequently about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in butter and cheese.
  • For the classic Gremolata: Chop together parsley, remaining garlic clove and lemon zest. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  • To serve: Spoon a bit of polenta on the plate, top with 2 chicken thighs, a spoonful of the cooking liquid and vegetables. Top with gremolata.

For Almond-Grapefruit Gremolata: Chop together parsley, garlic clove and grapefruit zest. Combine with almonds & season to taste.

For Roasted Garlic Mint Gremolata: Chop together parsley, mint & orange peel. Combine with roasted garlic & season to taste.

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