Aubergine Stew with Honey and Golden Sultana Polenta

  • Preparation Time15 mins
  • Cooking Time20 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyEasy
28g dried porcini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
950mL chicken stock, divided
60mL extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 red onion, chopped, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
3 to 4 celery stalks, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cubanelle peppers, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into bite sized pieces
2 aubergine, peeled of half the skin, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
30mL aged balsamic vinegar
1 (784g) can whole tomatoes (recommended: San Marzano)
240mL milk
Handful golden sultanas
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
240mL quick cooking polenta
45mL honey
30mL butter
120mL grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano
1) Place dried mushrooms and 475mL chicken stock in a small pot over medium-low heat.

2) Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a Dutch oven or high sided skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add garlic, crushed pepper, onions, carrots, celery, peppers, and aubergine to the pot as you chop them. Add the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and cover the pot to sweat the vegetables out a little faster. Stir occasionally for 10 to 12 minutes then uncover and add the balsamic vinegar.

3) Remove the reconstituted dried mushrooms to the pot with a slotted spoon. Pour in all but the last few tablespoons of mushroom stock. The last of the stock can hold a little loose grit from the dried mushrooms. Add tomatoes and break up with a wooden spoon. Simmer over low heat the last few minutes before serving. Adjust salt and pepper.

4) Heat the remaining 475mL stock with 240mL milk, golden sultanas and rosemary over medium high heat. Whisk in polenta and stir 3 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in honey, butter and cheese.

5) Pile some polenta in shallow bowls and spoon the stew around the polenta.

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