10 October 2012

Delicious Discoveries - Spicy Chicken Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta

With fall moving in around the country, our appetites are moving to hearty and warm dishes filled with the bounties of the harvest. With those cravings in mind, we cooked up a batch of Spicy Chicken Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta from the Canada kiosk of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.



1 Pound Spicy Chicken Sausage Links
1 Medium Spanish Onion (diced)
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2/3 Cup Fresh Corn (1 cob – removed from cob)
1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
1/3 Cup Regular Polenta (ground yellow or white cornmeal)
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 Tsp. Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tsp. Chives (chopped)
Salt and Ground Pepper (to taste)

Canned corn can be used if fresh corn is not in season or cannot be found.


Preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat, add onions and fresh corn and cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add water, cream, and maple syrup, bring mixture to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and stir in polenta, cook on low heat for 5 minutes while continuing to stir.
Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until polenta is creamy and has absorbed most of the liquid.
Remove from oven and stir in chives and Parmesan cheese.
Season to taste.
Grill sausages, then slice in half.
Spoon polenta into warmed bowls and top with sausages.

This is a very quick and easy dish to make, even if it seems a bit scary to take on. There are accommodations built in for those who can’t find, or maybe don’t want to use fresh corn, but you can also use whatever sausage works best for your family. We couldn’t find spicy chicken sausage links in our regular grocery stores, but we are lucky enough to have a local whole foods grocer who did carry them, so you may have to do a little calling around if you are dedicated to preparing this dish to the letter of the recipe.

This is a great way to present a savory and sweet dish, but also to showcase the many diverse products that come from Canada. There is a bite and snap from the sausages that I love and the polenta is extremely rich and creamy. Most of the time, I chose to slather the polenta onto my sausage link before taking a bite.

We cook polenta in my house on a fairly regular basis, and we generally prefer a stiffer version of polenta, whereas this recipe is quite soupy. The maple syrup added a great pairing with the salt of the Parmesan cheese, but if we were to make it again, we would likely cut the amount of syrup used and substitute a bit of chicken stock. It would keep the same consistency, but cut some of the sweetness.

This is a great dish to whip up as the days get shorter and the leaves are swirling around outside. I hope you’ll fold it into your autumn rotation of recipes!

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