fb-pixel Skip to main content

Recipe for cilantro-roast chicken with mushroom grits

Serves 6

Andy Husbands of Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel recommends using coarsely ground (white) hominy or yellow cornmeal (also known as polenta) in this dish, for its pleasingly thick, gritty texture that goes well with chicken thighs.


2tablespoons olive oil
3tablespoons unsalted butter
2medium shallots, thinly sliced
¼teaspoon dried thyme
1pound mixed mushrooms (such as
chanterelles and cremini), cut into
1-inch chunks or quartered
Salt and pepper, to taste
1tablespoon chopped fresh sage
2cloves garlic, finely chopped
3cups water
3cups buttermilk
cups medium-coarse white or yellow grits
(or polenta)
2ounces cream cheese, at room
2ounces sharp white cheddar cheese,
Water or milk (for thinning grits, if needed)

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. When it is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Stir in the shallots and thyme and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until tender.

2. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add the sage and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the garlic starts to turn golden. Add the water, buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and slowly whisk in the grits. Whisk for 1 minute, turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer, stirring 2 or 3 times to avoid scorching, for 15 to 25 minutes or until tender. The consistency should be like hot cereal: not runny, but not too thick or pasty.

3. Stir in the cream cheese, cheddar, and mushrooms. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.


Note: The grits can be made a few hours ahead. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let sit at room temperature. To reheat, place over medium heat, adding boiling water or milk (about 1 cup, or more) to thin to the desired texture. Cook, stirring, until hot and creamy.


¾cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
2cloves garlic
Grated rind and juice of 1 lime
tablespoons olive oil
½teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste
12bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and skin
¼cup maple syrup
1tablespoon unsalted butter
Pinch cayenne pepper

1. Set the oven at 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack.

2. In a food processor, combine the cilantro, garlic, lime rind and juice, olive oil, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Puree until smooth.


3. Rub the chicken all over with the cilantro mixture and place skin side up on the rack.

4. Roast for 30 minutes or until the chicken is golden and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees. Remove from the oven; keep the oven on.

5. In a skillet, combine the maple syrup, butter, cayenne, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Brush on the chicken. Return the chicken to the oven for 2 minutes.

6. In 6 large shallow bowls, spoon a large helping of grits. Place 2 thighs on top.

Lisa Zwirn. Adapted from Tremont 647