Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Chicken Florentine with Mushrooms

Chicken breasts, pan seared or grilled, atop a bed of pasta with a mushroom and spinach in a cheesy Mornay cream sauce.
Chicken breasts, pan seared or grilled, atop a bed of pasta with mushrooms and spinachs in a cheesy Mornay cream sauce.

Chicken Florentine

You've probably seen Chicken Florentine recipes before, though there sure seems to be a wide variation on how it's made. While chicken and spinach are typically involved, sometimes seafood or even eggs, in a version similar to eggs Benedict, are substituted.

Some serve the chicken in layers over a bed of spinach with a Mornay sauce poured over that, topped with cheese and baked. More often it's simply cooked in the skillet. Some add pasta or mashed potatoes and top it off with sliced, cooked chicken and spoon the sauce on top. Some include mushrooms and some are prepared with a tomato based sauce. Some are creamy, and some even shortcut the sauce with cream soup, typically cream of mushroom.

I loved the idea of including mushrooms, and combining them with the cream, spinach and pasta, serving the chicken on top, with some of the plain, reserved cream sauce spooned over the chicken. No matter which one you choose, it's sure to be a delicious addition to your table and it's certainly a great way to dress up an otherwise boring boneless, skinless chicken breast!

I did wonder, however, if The Cajun would even eat this. I love mushrooms and spinach any way you cook it - raw in a salad or a smoothie, a simple saute in the pan, creamed, in a casserole, but my husband? Not so much. He's not a fan of most vegetables, though I have pushed the envelope here lately and had some success!

When I put some skillet asparagus in front of him one day recently, and he ate it, I knew I was getting somewhere. When I put this dish in front of him, and he ate it, and there was nothing left to scrape away in the garbage, well, that's progress y'all!

Here's how I made my version of Chicken Florentine, and as always, the full recipe with measurements, instructions and a printable is further down the page. Just scroll or swipe past the step by step pictures.

First, I used a blade tenderizer to flatten the chicken breasts so they would cook more quickly and evenly. You can cook them anyway that you like, I cooked them on the George Foreman grill. Every once in awhile I drag it out of the walk in pantry, just to see if I like it better than the countertop grill that stays out all the time now, because I love it.

The Foreman grill cooks top and bottom, so it sure didn't take long at all for these! As you cook the pasta and start the sauce, brush chicken with oil and season on both sides. Grill or pan sear chicken until cooked through, and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, taking care not to overcook. Tent loosely with foil and set aside. I seem to have forgotten to take pics of the chicken by itself after I cooked it though! By the way, did you know that if you store mushrooms, unwashed of course, in a paper bag, they will last a lot longer?

Cook pasta, drain and set aside. (There's that Fasta Pasta gadget again y'all!) While the pasta and the chicken are going, start the sauce by melting the butter in a skillet, then adding the onion and garlic, cook and stir for 4 minutes. Stir in flour, cook and stir for 3 minutes. Stir in broth and milk until incorporated; add parsley. I like a grating of fresh nutmeg too, but you can totally leave that out.

Stir in cheese until melted - Swiss, Gruyere, Provolone or Gouda are all good choices. Remove and set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce. Add mushrooms, cook for 2 minutes. Add half of the spinach to skillet and cook until wilted, then add remaining spinach and wilt down. Add additional cream or milk if needed to thin. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add pasta to skillet and toss until heated through.

Transfer pasta to platter or individual plates, top with chicken and spoon reserved sauce over the top. You can also slice the chicken before placing it over the pasta.

For more of my favorite chicken recipes, check out the collection on my Pinterest page!

Unable to view the printable below on your device? Tap/click here.

Posted by on June 4, 2019
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