Thursday, March 24, 2011

Throwback Thursday: New and Improved Chicken Florentine

Last June I took two recipes that I found in the America's Test Kitchen Light and Healthy 2010 magazine: Chicken Florentine and Mediterranean Chicken, creating Mediterranean Chicken Florentine. The final product was a little bland and a watery due to the moisture from the spinach as it cooked, it depleted the rest of the flavor of the dish. The former recipe used flour, cream, lemon juice and chicken stock to create a sauce - I decided to bypass the sauce and instead bulk up the taste of the spinach to get the "umph" I was looking for.

I came across a sauteed spinach recipe in America's Test Kitchen Light and Healthy 2011 magazine that I just picked up. This spinach recipe uses a little bit of olive oil, shallot, red wine vinegar, pecans and feta. I decided to make this spinach and bake it with the chicken for a revived Chicken Florentine. We loved this version, I only wish I had thought to make a rice with it. An angel hair pasta bed would have gone well too, but for me, not until after Easter!

The nutrition facts for this version of the spinach are 190 calories, 7g fat, 31g carbs, 5g protein, 8g fiber per serving.

Grocery List:
  • 2 chicken cutlets, cut in half for 4 small, thin chicken breasts
  • 2 bags of baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the spinach and water in a large microwavable bowl. Heat in the microwave on high for 4 minutes until the spinach is wilted and decreased by half. America's Test Kitchen says that the reason they microwave it in this version is because tender young baby spinach releases a lot of liquid when it hits a hot pan, so adding a large amount at one time leaves a waterlogged, mushy mess. It is better to microwave/steam it in batches then squeeze dry. 
 Fill the bowl...
Put it in the microwave and let it wilt by half

Empty that batch into a collander and drain, using paper towels to help soak up the extra moisture. Repeat this process at least twice more.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat and add the minced shallot for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

Once the spinach is all drained, add it to the skillet, drizzle with a little more olive oil and toss with the tongs.

Add the vinegar, walnuts and feta.
Season with garlic salt and add the tomatoes. 

Set the chicken in an oven safe dish and top with the sauteed spinach mixture, last sprinkle on a little Parmesan cheese.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and serve!

1 comment:

  1. Love the umph you went for this time! Looks delish!


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