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Chicken Sausage with Caramelized Onions, Broccoli and Cheesy Grits


Imagine an Italian grandma gazing out over the Tuscan hills, stirring a big copper pot of simmering polenta… for hours. Then serving it on a big white platter, smothered in sausage, slowly caramelized onions and bitter greens, all topped with melting cheese and home canned tomatoes. Now imagine making this dinner yourself, but in only 30 minutes!

Polenta is a fancy Italian word. Grits is our comforting version. In this recipe we stir up a pot of quick grits (not instant), top it with caramelized onions, crispy sausages, broccoli and a favorite tomato sauce, throw a little cheese into the mix, and even grandma will be happy to sit down at your table. 

YOU NEED (for the sausage, onions and broccoli)

4 medium sized Italian-style chicken sausages (organic, free range if you can)
2 medium onions sliced
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 large head broccoli finely chopped
Olive oil
Chopped parsley 
3 cups of your favorite tomato sauce

YOU NEED (for the grits)

2 cups milk
2 cups water
1 cup quick grits or polenta (not instant)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
A few grinds of pepper 
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (the sharper it is, the cheesier it will taste)


Bring the milk and water just to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly stream in the grits while whisking constantly. Stir in the salt and turn down the heat to medium-low.  Continue stirring, while humming cheerfully, until the grits thicken up, about 4 minutes.  Keep warm over very gentle heat.

Drizzle a large cast iron skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and over medium heat saute the sausages until they are golden, then slice them thickly on the bias, or into small bite sized pieces. You can even leave them whole, whatever makes you happy. Put them aside. 

Wipe out the pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, saute the onion until it is caramel colored and has little crispy edges, add the garlic and broccoli, saute until the broccoli is tender. 

Fold the cheddar cheese into the grits (you can also add a goodly pat of butter here, but you did not hear that from me). You want the consistency of soft porridge, so if you need to thin them out a bit, add a little milk. Taste the grits for seasonings. When they are tasty and don’t need a thing more, pour them onto your big white platter platter, top with the sausages and a mess of onions and broccoli. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with your favorite tomato sauce on the side. Call your family to the table.



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One Response

  1. One Hungry Mama says:

    Love it! Did something similar recently — my take on sausage and peppers (polenta with a simple sausage ragu & roasted peppers and onions):

    Polenta is a total go-to for us. So easy!

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