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Pesto Chicken Polenta Bites

Simple to make, but elegant in appearance, these pretty hand held treats feature the unique flavor combination of robust pesto and sweet dried cranberries. Expect an empty tray—and several recipe requests.—Betty Fulks, Onia, Arkansas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + standing Cook: 10 min.
  • Makes
    32 appetizers


  • 2-1/2 cups water, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2/3 cup prepared pesto
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


  • In a small heavy saucepan, bring the water, salt and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle boil; slowly whisk in cornmeal. Cook and stir with a wooden spoon for 15-20 minutes or until polenta is thickened and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pan (mixture will be very thick). Gradually stir in cream during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  • Pour into a greased 15x10x1-in. pan. Let stand until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut polenta with a scalloped 2-in. cookie cutter.
  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken, pesto and pepper; spoon 1 tablespoon mixture over each polenta cutout. Sprinkle with cranberries.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 81 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 14mg cholesterol, 146mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

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  • dachshundsonly
    Dec 18, 2011

    Very tasty, but.... what is the divided water all about? Also, there is no way this will make 32 two inch cut outs. Polenta needs to be spread out in a smaller pan to get the thickness shown in the picture which is needed to hold up. But even using a standard jelly roll size you can't get 32 rounds. There aren't 32 tablespoons of chix mix either. It was good but I think I'll just use a nice cracker next time.

  • Susy Robenson
    Dec 14, 2011

    I got this recipe from the Rachael Ray show. I tried it and it was very good.