Chicken Florentine

I might be able to feed my child chicken and pasta every day. I shouldn't do that, but I don't think I'd get complaints. So while there will be variety in our menus, this easy Chicken Florentine recipe is a favorite in my house and I thought I should share it for anyone else out there who loves chicken and pasta. And spinach and cheese. And cream and garlic. You get the idea.

If you have a little more time, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe and cook it a bit longer. If you only have about a half hour, use chicken cutlets and slice them into strips before cooking. You can use frozen, thawed spinach that you've squeezed dry, but I really like the fresh baby spinach in this recipe. If you want to use some dry white wine, add about a half cup with the chicken broth and reduce that amount by a half cup. If you add wine, omit the lemon juice at the end.

This could be a meal on its own, but I like having a fresh salad alongside and maybe some breadsticks for sopping up the creamy sauce when you've gobbled up all the chicken and pasta. Oh - and a glass of chilled wine is a nice idea too!

Chicken Florentine

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 5 to 6 ounces each)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water, optional
  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Season the chicken well with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder on both sides; set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Add the chicken to the hot skillet and cook until well browned on one side, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn and cook another 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the chicken to a platter or plate. Cover to keep warm.

Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan and heat until melted. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the chicken broth and cream.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the sauce gently for about 10 minutes. If the sauce is not thick enough for you, add the cornstarch slurry and stir constantly until thickened to your tastes.

Add the chicken to the sauce and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes more or until the chicken is cooked through.

Add the fresh spinach to the sauce and cook until wilted. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan until melted. Stir in the fresh lemon juice and check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve the chicken and sauce tossed with pasta, if desired.

  • Yields: 3-4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes