Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chicken Florentine

One of my best friends Brenda sent me a picture text message the other day of her boyfriend Ian making dinner for her after a long day at work!! When I asked what it was that he was making she said "Chicken Florentine!" And then she added in the best part "and it is low calorie!" Wait what? For a second I thought about replying with "ohhh, well enjoy your cardboard dinner then!" because lets face it we have all tried the low calorie and low fat versions of rich and yummy good recipes because we are drawn in by the lure of "low calories" and "healthy" but you are almost always left a bit disappointed and wondering if you should have just done it the original and yummy way and just spent a couple extra hours in the gym that day! Well I opted to save my pessimism for myself and said "great let me know how it turns out!" Well Brenda just raved about it so I decided I had to try this for myself! OH MY GOSH!!! This chicken was so good SO GOOD! Thank goodness I did not have a insert foot in mouth moment by responding with my first thoughts! (Sorry Bren but it was my initial thoughts!) I think this is a recipe that everyone should keep! It is so easy so delicious and definitely worth it! I decided to serve my chicken on top of some Vermicelli noodles and also made some steamed asparagus to go with it!
I got the copy of the recipe emailed to me but we are trying to find the origin of what book it came out of so I know who to properly credit. Until then here is the recipe...

Chicken Florentine
serves 4
4 teaspoons Canola Oil
Two 6 ounce bags of baby spinach (about 12 cups)
1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (trimmed)
salt and pepper
1 shallot minced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 Garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon unbleached AP flour
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

Heat broiler and move the rack 5 inches from the heating element

1. Heat two teaspoons of the oil in a 12 in skillet over medium heat until simmering. Add the spinach, one handful at a time, stirring often. Cook until wilted, abut 5 minutes. Transfer to a colander. Place the colander over a bowl or large measuring cup and press the spinach with a spatula until all the liquid is expelled. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.

Here is my chicken getting ready to go in the skillet

2. Season the chicken breasts with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium high heat until smoking. Carefully lay the chicken in the skillet and cook them for 4 to 6 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Transfer chicken to a plate and lightly tent with foil.

3.  Add the shallot and the garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Stir in the flour. Whisk in the broth and water scrapping up any browned bits.

Here is everything cooking away!

4. Return the chicken breasts along with any accumulated juice to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium low and cook until the thickest part of the chicken breasts reach 160 to 165 with a meat thermometer (about 10 to 15 minutes.) Flipping the breasts half way through. Remove chicken and place it on a plate and lightly tent with foil once again.

5. Simmer the sauce for another 15 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the cream and lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This is what I did as I waited for the simmering to happen!

6. Cut the chicken breast cross ways into 1/2 inch thick pieces and arrange in broiler safe 2 quart casserole dish. Scatter the spinach evenly over the chicken and pour the sauce on top of the chicken and spinach. Sprinkle with the cheese on top and broil for about 5 minutes until golden brown and serve.

The timer went off and here it was! In the oven! Just beautiful!

Plate and serve!

340 calories per serving 11 grams of fat; 3 grams of sat fat; 15 carbs; 44grams of protein;4 fiber; 670 sodium mg

I can't say it enough you must try this recipe.... you know you need a new dinner idea to try and this is going to be it! Once you do it you will thank me!



onechrisjones on September 2, 2010 at 3:00 PM said...

This looks pretty good!

PS - This is your Cuz' Christopher... when you get back to OK, we should hook up! My wife and I are here for a few months!!


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