Chicken Florentine Recipe
Chicken Florentine is a classic Italian dish that combines tender chicken breasts with a creamy spinach and cheese sauce. It’s a flavorful and satisfying meal that’s perfect for both casual dinners and special occasions. This recipe provides a simple yet delicious way to prepare Chicken Florentine at home.
To make Chicken Florentine, you will need:
- Chicken breasts
- Olive oil
- Garlic cloves
- Heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Nutmeg (optional)
Preparation Time and Cooking Method:
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes
- Start by seasoning the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Cook the chicken breasts until they are golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 6-7 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted.
- Pour in heavy cream and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Stir in grated Parmesan cheese and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg (if using).
- Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer for a few more minutes until heated through.
Tips for Perfect Chicken Florentine:
- Use fresh spinach for the best flavor and texture.
- Don’t overcrowd the skillet when cooking the chicken, as it may prevent proper browning.
- Adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences.
- For a lighter version, you can use half-and-half instead of heavy cream.
Variations and Substitutions:
- You can use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts.
- Substitute kale or Swiss chard for spinach.
- Add mushrooms or sun-dried tomatoes for extra flavor.
Health Benefits of Chicken Florentine:
Chicken Florentine is a nutritious dish that provides protein, vitamins, and minerals. Spinach is rich in iron and antioxidants, while chicken is a lean source of protein.
Serve Chicken Florentine with cooked pasta, rice, or crusty bread for a complete meal. Garnish with fresh parsley or grated Parmesan cheese for added flavor.
History and Origin of Chicken Florentine:
Chicken Florentine is believed to have originated in Florence, Italy, hence the name “Florentine.” It has been a popular dish in Italian cuisine for centuries and has since gained popularity worldwide.
Why Chicken Florentine is a Popular Dish:
Chicken Florentine is loved for its creamy texture, savory flavor, and simplicity. It’s a versatile dish that can be customized with various ingredients and enjoyed by the whole family.
Common Mistakes to Avoid:
- Overcooking the chicken, which can result in dryness.
- Not properly draining excess liquid from the spinach, leading to a watery sauce.
- Using low-fat dairy products, which may not yield the desired creamy consistency.
In conclusion, Chicken Florentine is a delightful dish that combines tender chicken with a creamy spinach sauce. With simple ingredients and easy preparation, it’s a perfect choice for any occasion. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or entertaining guests, this recipe is sure to impress.
- Can I use frozen spinach instead of fresh?
- Yes, you can use frozen spinach, but be sure to thaw and drain it thoroughly before adding it to the dish.
- Can I make Chicken Florentine ahead of time?
- Yes, you can prepare the components ahead of time and assemble them just before serving.
- Can I freeze Chicken Florentine?
- While it’s possible to freeze Chicken Florentine, the texture of the sauce may change upon reheating.
- What other cheeses can I use besides Parmesan?
- You can use Asiago, Pecorino Romano, or Fontina as alternatives to Parmesan cheese.
- Can I use bone-in chicken for this recipe?
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are recommended for quicker cooking, but bone-in chicken can be used with adjusted cooking times.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups white wine, or chicken broth
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/3 cup softened cream cheese
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- 1/2 fresh lemon or 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice, optional
- Fresh parsley, to garnish
1. Place saran wrap over each chicken breast and use a meat tenderizer to pound it until it’s about 1/2-inch thick and of equal thickness throughout. Pat dry.
2. Combine chicken dredge ingredients. Coat the chicken in the flour mixture, tap off any excess.
3. Melt the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add the chicken and cover the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, until golden. If needed, sear in 2 separate batches. Set aside on a plate once cooked, it's done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
5. Decrease heat to medium and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
6. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan by running a silicone spatula on the bottom to scrape up the brown bits from the pan. This gives the sauce plenty of flavor. Increase heat slightly and allow it to gently bubble until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
7. Temper the half and half by heating in the microwave for 40 seconds. Add it to the skillet in splashes, stirring as you do so. Bring it to a gentle bubble, then reduce heat to low.
8. Stir in the softened cream cheese until smooth and combined.
9. Add spinach until it’s soft and wilted. Add lemon juice if desired.
10. Return the chicken & any drippings back to the pan. Cover to heat through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve!
10 oz. frozen spinach may be used instead of fresh. Thaw it out and squeeze out excess liquid prior to using.
- Pound the chicken flat for even cooking. Chicken breasts plump up when they cook because their proteins gel, causing them to plump up. Thin cutlets also cook more quickly and are much more appetizing.
- Let the chicken sit out while you prepare the other ingredients, placing cold chicken in the skillet cools down the olive oil/butter and can cause uneven cooking.
- Keep the chicken undisturbed while it cooks to maintain the golden crust that forms. The chicken will release from the pan when it's done searing, using force will cause it to tear.
- A combination of butter and olive oil is best. The butter gives the chicken a golden color, the olive oil mitigates burning due to it's higher smoke count. (If the pan gets too hot while the chicken is searing, decrease the heat to medium.)
- Mushrooms, capers, cherry tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes make nice additions to this meal.
- The cream cheese can be omitted, I've made it without it before. It does thicken it a bit and adds additional flavor and creaminess.
Nutrition InformationYield 1 Serving Size 4
Amount Per ServingCalories 2511Total Fat 128gSaturated Fat 60gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 59gCholesterol 658mgSodium 4519mgCarbohydrates 94gFiber 7gSugar 20gProtein 182g
The information contained herein is subject to change.