Spicy Chicken and Polenta


Shake up supper with this boldly-flavored meal.

Spicy Berbere Chicken Thighs
Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

Chicken dinners can get a little tired. No longer, thanks to this delicious combination of spicy, bone-in chicken thighs with garlicky green beans and luxurious polenta. For a quick shortcut to flavor, you'll coat the chicken thighs with Berbere, which is a deeply flavorful spice mix from Ethiopia. Though the exact proportions vary, the mix generally includes chilies, garlic, paprika, and fenugreek, along with other common baking spices like ginger, coriander, and cinnamon. A few mint leaves on top help cool off the heat from the seasoning.


  • 8 6-ounce bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons berbere (such as McCormick)

  • 1 ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided

  • ¾ cup instant polenta

  • Lime wedges, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Season chicken with berbere and 1 ½ teaspoons salt; rub to coat.

  2. Heat oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high. Place 4 chicken thighs, skin side down, in skillet; cook, undisturbed, until skin is crisp, about 5 minutes. Flip thighs and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.

  3. Add onion and garlic to skillet; cook over medium, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in beans, 1 cup broth, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Return chicken to skillet, skin side up. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of chicken registers 165°F, about 15 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, bring remaining 3 cups broth to a boil in a saucepan over high. Gradually whisk in polenta until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring constantly, until polenta thickens, about 5 minutes. Serve with chicken thighs, bean mixture, and lime wedges.


Berbere, a popular Ethiopian spice blend, includes cinnamon, chiles, and ginger.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

523 Calories
17g Fat
36g Carbs
50g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 523
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 192mg 64%
Sodium 1117mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 50g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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