Rotisserie chicken is a weeknight dinner hero for many reasons. But, for me, the main two are that it's relatively inexpensive and it gets dinner on the table in no time. By adding just two more super flavorful ingredients, canned fire-roasted tomatoes and chipotle in adobo peppers, plus a few pantry staple, this low effort meal with *major* tamales vibes will be sure to warm the chilliest winter night without having to spend too much time in the kitchen.
The spicy chicken is served over a pool of creamy polenta. Since the polenta cooks in about the amount of time it takes to prepare the entire mel, I like to get that going first. Next, I quick-pickle half a red onion (don’t worry, you’ll use the other half for the sauce) to make delightfully acidic garnish that pairs perfectly with the smoky chipotle flavor.
The make the sauce, saute the rest of the onion with some chopped chipotle in adobo peppers. You could deseed them if you’d like them to be less spicy, but I find that’s a bit fussy. So if you’d like to cut down on the heat without creating extra work, just use one pepper instead of two. The smokiness of the peppers combined with the char of the fire roasted tomatoes create the sense of the sauce that was cooked for hours, instead of just minutes.
Cut the red onion in half. Finely dice one half and thinly slice the other. Set the diced onion aside. Place the thinly sliced onion into glass bowl. Add the red wine vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss and set aside to pickle.
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large sauce pot. Once boiling, add the polenta and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, whisking occasionally to prevent lumps, for 15 minutes or until thickened. While the polenta cooks, prepare the chicken.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chipotle in adobo peppers and tomatoes. Season with ½ teaspoon of salt and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a bubble. Once bubbling, add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is warmed through and the sauce has thickened.
Once the polenta is cooked. Stir in the butter to melt. Spoon the polenta into bowls and top with chipotle chicken, a spoonful of crema, pickled onion and cilantro.
Grant Melton is an Emmy Award-Winning Producer of the Rachael Ray Show, food writer and recipe developer. He's a contributor to Food52, Food Network Kitchen and Rachael Ray Every Day Magazine. He loves cookies, cocktails and kindness.