Lies from the 30 minute kitchen – Polenta chicken slop

Nights are hectic and short on time as we try to fit in dinner, homework, nursing, and bedtime routines while leaving ample tantrum time. Forget things like bathing the children. I’m a good cook, but there is just not enough time for anything other than my basic staples.

Or is there?

Luckily Rachael Ray has plenty of 30 minute meal ideas, and surely Rachael and her EVOO would never lead me astray.

So today I am going to attempt her Turkey Pot Pie with Cranberry-Orange corn muffin topping.

To up the odds of success I’ll attempt this on a weekend night, when there is an extra adult.

My first tip is that polenta is in the pasta aisle. That will save you twenty minutes of looking everywhere else. My second tip is that polenta and placenta have nothing in common, though I’m sure an enterprising hippie could incorporate them both. Since Kroger doesn’t sell rotisserie cooked turkey, I’m using a chicken. I have no idea how much 1.5 pounds of chicken is, so I’m just going to use all of it.  If you are me you will also ditch the honey (so the baby can eat some), trade the orange zest for dried orange peel, use pecan pieces from your freezer, and not even bother with the thyme or surprise bay leaf.

Start time: 5:53

Why the hell does she have you grease the pan with olive oil before you add butter? Does she have an EVOO quota?

You know how Pioneer Woman shows you how to chop an onion every. damn. time? Why can I still not remember how to do it?

Sweating the vegetables in their little vegetable sauna. Ten minutes sweatin’ to the oldies and the carrots are still very hard. Richard Simmons, is that you?

Grab a handful of flour and throw it in; measuring is for people with bigger dishwashers.

Sauce isn’t thickening.  Add some more flour.

Rowan is screaming.

Polenta, cranberry sauce, and cheese look disgusting together. Less like a muffin, and more like slop. I’m expecting Charles Dickens to show up any minute now.

This is more like chicken soup with grits on top and no amount of broiling is going to make it set into anything more than stew. It’s so ugly I’m not even going to take a picture.

Finish time: 6:45

Rachael lied to me. This may be a 30 minute meal in her commercial kitchen, with everything already prepped, but on a week night with kids around this would take me well over an hour. Do you know how much damage a five year old can do to the house in an hour?

Taste?  It’s okay. Fairly comforting on this warm night.  Not worth the effort or cost. But we’ll happily eat the leftovers.

Serves 4 hungry trolls, or two adults and one baby for a month. Lorelei ate chicken nuggets.



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