This Chicken and Grits with a Rich Cream Sherry Sauce is a knock your socks off recipe! If only the photos could do it justice…
Welcome to the South, y’all, where grits hold a special place in my heart – especially chicken and grits! It wasn’t always this way and I most definitely need my grits properly prepared. I’m sure nearly everyone in the US has seen and maybe even have tried the giant heated containers of plain grits at restaurants and buffets. To me, those are the type of grits to steer clear of! As my father would say, “Grits they’re just one step above wall paper paste.” And honestly, they’re not all that exciting without a dash of love, I mean butter, salt, pepper, cheese, and milk.
I envision grits as a blank canvas, ready for transformation. Think of it as throwing paint on a sheet of white! And from there, you’ve got endless opportunities to brighten up your meal. You can make sweet grits using ingredients such as brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, cardamom, or maple syrup. Or the more typical savory grits utilizing vegetables, bacon, broth, milk, cheese, herbs, and spices! In this recipe for Chicken and Grits, we stick to the tried and true rich cheese grits.
Before we begin, consider this idea: make a batch of sweet grits by combining bananas, a hint of brown sugar, and cinnamon. Don’t forget to add some salt and butter. Once you finish cooking the grits, let them solidify overnight in the fridge. The next day, cut the grits into polenta strips, pan fry them in butter, and serve them with maple syrup and pecans!
The Grilled Chicken To Accompany The Grits
Let’s delve into the wonderful world of chicken cooking, shall we? Now, when it comes to preparing the perfect chicken, there’s one crucial step that often gets overlooked – letting it rest! Once your chicken is finished cooking, grab a set of tongs, carefully transfer the chicken onto a cutting board, and let it sit there for a good 10 minutes before you even think about cutting into it. Don’t use a BBQ fork to remove it, as doing so will let the moisture escape. Stick with good ol’ fashioned tongs. Trust me, after all the impatience, you’ll thank me.
The chicken marinade I used is a delicious twist on my classic Lemon Tarragon Thyme Chicken recipe. It pairs well with just about anything. Instead of using Tarragon, I decided to replace it with Rosemary. What I particularly enjoy about this recipe is the resulting caramelization and subtle sweetness brought forward from the marinade. Whether you’re grilling the chicken as the main dish or serving it with rice, polenta, or pasta, it’s a fantastic addition.
The Mushroom Sherry Cream Sauce
So this sauce is finger-licking good! Beyond this chicken and grits recipe, this Mushroom Sherry Cream Sauce also makes a wonderful pasta sauce with gluten-free penne or linguini. Just add a little Italian sausage, and you’ll have a delicious meal with the leftovers. When it comes to gluten-free pastas, I recommend two brands: Divella or Colvita.
I love using a variety of mushrooms for my sauce. Sometimes I use cremini or oyster mushrooms, and other times I’ll combine them with hen of the woods and trumpet mushrooms. Each mushroom variety has a different taste, but these flavors blend well together. One important tip when purchasing mushrooms is to avoid getting tricked with cremini mushrooms, also known as Baby Bellas. These are the exact same variety of mushrooms, but some stores may charge more if the packaging says “Cremini.” The food blog, TheKitchn, has a post explaining this as well!
Something I learned a long time ago is also brought up in TheKitchn article, as well as in the website Eater. This might just blow your mind: did you know that your typical white button mushrooms are actually Portobellas! The only difference is in their maturity. The first stage is a white button, then it becomes cremini (baby bella), and finally matures into a portobello. As the mushroom develops, it gains more flavor and a different texture. Tell me you are not shocked by this revelation?
What To Serve This Recipe With?
This Chicken and Grits with a Rich Cream Sherry Sauce recipe is incredibly indulgent and rich. While it can certainly stand alone as a meal, I always like to add a touch of green to accompany it. The trick is to choose a vegetable that is simple yet slightly bitter. Balancing the flavors is important, and bitterness can help cut through the richness of the grits and balance the subtle sweetness of the sauce. With that in mind, I recommend lightly sautéed kale or broccoli rabe. These greens will provide a touch of bitterness that complements the dish, while still being simple enough to enhance the overall flavor.
Tips and Tricks for Chicken and Grits
As mentioned in the “Grilled Chicken to Accompany Grits” section, let your chicken rest for 10 minutes after cooking it. You’ll end up with a moist and tender piece of chicken.
Refrigerate your leftover grits and make polenta fries the following day!
If you plan to reheat your leftover grits, I recommend using a medium-sized pot. Start by adding the grits and half a cup of water or chicken broth. Heat and stir, adding more water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.