Lovely legs have very little fat on them, and what little there is, can easily be cut off if desired.
Instead of using store bought pesto with preservatives, I have made this myself, as it is not difficult and has a different taste to the store bought ones - not as salty, however somehow "crisper" and more flavoursome.
I have not tried polenta baked in squares before, and decided it would go well with the chicken and pesto. It is not fried but baked, which is good healthwise. The addition of the Parmesan gave it a very earthy taste.
The "piece de resistance" was however the addition of the pomegranate seeds which just matched in so well with everything else and gave it a very different and crunchy taste!
Ingredients FOR THE CHICKEN
6 lovely legs 1 ½ tbsp honey
2 red onions
Pomegranate molasses (optional)
FOR THE PESTO
100 g walnuts
Large bunch parsley leaves
80 - 90 g olive oil
FOR THE POLENTA SQUARES
½ cup polenta
2 cups water
¼ tsp salt
Bit olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus bit extra
Rub the legs with the honey and a bit of salt. Put them in a sprayed baking dish and cut the onions into quarters. Place the onions in a single layer around the legs, and dob with some olive oil.
Set aside while you get the polenta ready.
Line a small baking dish with cooking spray. Bring half the water (1 cup) to the boil in a pot, and mix the remaining water with the polenta. Once the water boils, add the remaining polenta mixture to the pan, a small amount at a time, stirring as you add.
Continue to cook and stir until the polenta thickens.
Polenta should be thick like this
Add the salt, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 5 more minutes. Then add a drizzle of olive oil and the Parmesan cheese and mix well. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
Refrigerate for about an hour, and then cut into squares.
Preheat oven to 180° fan forced.
Put the polenta squares into the oven for 20 minutes.
While this is baking, make the pesto. Put the parsley and walnuts in a food processor with a bit of salt. With the motor on, dribble in the oil, making sure that you only chop the ingredients to a course paste.
When the polenta is done, turn all the squares over, and put the chicken dish also into the oven.
Cook both for about 30 minutes although the chicken MAY take an extra 5 minutes. The polenta squares should rest for about 5 minutes anyway.
Cooked polenta squares
Cooked lovely legs
While these are cooking, cut the top off the pomegranate, and slice the skin into quarters. Soak the whole pomegranate in cold water.
This loosens the seeds from the pith
Cut into quarters and remove the seeds leaving the pith. Dry on a paper towel and these can be kept in the fridge or even frozen -they are great over ice cream.
Plate the chicken, with the onions, and add dollops of the pesto to each plate.
Add the polenta squares and a dash of pomegranate molasses drizzled over the top, and serve.