Chicken Florentine: Spinach Cream Sauce

Chicken Florentine is a luxurious dish that features the delicate flavors of chicken nestled in a rich and creamy spinach sauce. The term “Florentine,” which originates from Florence, Italy, refers to a style of cooking where spinach is a key ingredient. This dish elegantly combines the succulent texture of sautéed chicken breasts with a velvety sauce made from spinach, cream, and Parmesan cheese. Perfect for an intimate dinner or as an impressive meal for guests, Chicken Florentine is a testament to the sophistication that can be achieved with a handful of quality ingredients.

Ingredients for Chicken Florentine

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Extra grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Cooking Steps for Chicken Florentine

  • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook until golden and no longer pink in the center, about 5-6 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chopped shallot, sautéing until fragrant and translucent.
  • Pour in the heavy cream and chicken broth, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Add the fresh spinach leaves to the skillet and cook until they begin to wilt.
  • Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and ground nutmeg, cooking until the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Return the chicken to the skillet, spooning the sauce and spinach over the top. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to reheat the chicken.
  • Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley before serving.
  • Serve the Chicken Florentine hot with your choice of side, like pasta, rice, or a crusty bread to soak up the sauce.

In summary, Chicken Florentine is a rich and comforting dish that blends the succulence of chicken with the earthiness of spinach in a creamy sauce. To achieve the best flavor, it’s essential to use fresh spinach and high-quality Parmesan cheese, freshly grated right before adding it to the sauce. Selecting a good chicken broth can also enhance the depth of the sauce. When cooking the chicken, make sure it reaches the perfect golden-brown sear, which not only adds to the presentation but also locks in the juices. Chicken Florentine is more than just a meal; it’s an experience in elegance and taste that is sure to impress.

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