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Chicken Florentine is really an amazing way to show what a sauce will do to elevate a simple chicken breast.
Make Chicken Special
Don’t we all get in a rut when it comes to chicken? I definitely do so I think the same applies to many others too. We all tend to make chicken the same old way most times and while it’s pretty good, sometimes you just need to shake things up a bit and do something glorious with it.
Now, “glorious” doesn’t take much here. All you are doing is combining some rather ordinary ingredients that combine to make something with a wonderful flavor. I’m also willing to bet you have most, if not all, ingredients right on hand.
What Makes Chicken “Florentine?”
To me, it’s the spinach. OK you have other things, but the basic ingredients are a creamy sauce and spinach. I had a box of frozen chopped spinach lurking in the freezer so I used that. I had to squeeze out the water but at least I had it on hand. If you have fresh baby spinach, that’s better to use because it eliminates the squeezing step.
You can add lots of other things to the sauce. I often add a touch of white wine or French vermouth. However, that addition is not totally necessary.
It also includes tomatoes, and the sun-dried variety is preferred. I happened to have some of those so I used them. But you can use fresh too. Just make sure to seed the tomatoes first. Removing the skin is highly recommended too.
When it comes to something such as this cream sauce, cream is called for. Where I’m into substitutions of stuff you don’t have, milk just won’t cut it here. Evaporated milk, as long as it’s not the fat-free variety, is ok in a pinch but the sauce just won’t have that creamy taste.
As gourmet as this chicken Florentine is, it’s pretty quick to prepare.
Pasta? Of Course!
This lovely chicken makes the best presentation when served over fettuccine or linguine. If you have plain old spaghetti, that’s just as good.
You won’t have gobs of sauce unless you double the sauce ingredients, but it’s so flavorful that a little goes a long way.
Deluxe Chicken Florentine
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, about 4 medium
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup Romano cheese grated (see NOTES)
- 1 cup chopped spinach (see NOTES)
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes diced
- 8 oz fettucine linguini or spaghetti, cooked
- Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken on both sides then remove to a baking dish and bake at 400F/200C for about 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Internal temperature should be 170F/85C. Tent with foil to keep warm
- To make sauce, in the same pan you browned the chicken in, add the garlic and cook over medium heat just until it’s fragrant, a little less than a minute.
- Add the cream, stock, Italian seasoning and cheese; whisk together well and cook over medium-high heat about 5 minutes until it begins to thicken.
- Add the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes; stir well and heat about 1 minute.
- Add the chicken back to the pan and coat with the sauce. Simmer about 5 minutes.
- Serve over the pasta.
Oh, the calories! I hope this will (at least) come out ‘decently’ if I used Half & Half instead of Heavy Cream, since this sounds awesome, and we DO love chicken.
Judith Hanneman says
It’ll be fine. I’ve substituted it many times when I was out of cream. It just takes a tad longer to reduce.