Oct 29, 2010

IHCC Out of Italy: Chicken Florentine

It's Out of Italy this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

I've had this, my favorite Giada recipe, Chicken Florentine (FoodNetwork), picked out and post written since early last week.  Very happy to have the chance to put the recipe out there.

But I misunderstood the theme.  I was thinking "Out of Italy" as in straight out of the heart of Itlay, classic, no questions asked, Italian food.  As in not the cuisine Giada usually cooks up, which would be "Out of California."  I'm not neccessarily stupid; I just hear (read) what I want to hear (read)!  Turns out we're supposed to leave Italy this week for IHCC and dip spoons into Giada's non-Italian creations.

I'm a waste-not-want-not kinda girl and can't let a perfectly good post go to waste.  So I'm stickin with the chickin.  Besides, I don't travel well anyway.    

Some sources claim that Catherine de Medici introduced spinach to France when she left Italy to marry her French husband, King Henry II.  The cooks she brought with her whipped up some home cookin' for her and the French court.  As a shout out to her peeps in Florence, Italy, she added the term "florentine" to dishes containing spinach.  If this dish can leave Italy and travel to France, where I'm sure over the centuries it has taken on some French influences, I'm using it! 

Whether the Medici story is accurate or not, we've been swooning over Giada's Chicken Florentine Style for years.  And every time we eat it we think it's better than the last.  

If you don't know me by now
...you will never never never know me.
But if you do know me, you know that I can't (refuse to?) follow a recipe.  I'm a tweaker.  Wait.  That doesn't sound quite right. 

By now you should know that I totally cheap out and don't spend the extra $ on something fancy like shallots.  Three pound bag of onions on sale for 99 cents a bag last week.  Ha!  Suck on that! 

I do not, however, cheap out on the booze.  Don't sub chicken broth for the wine no matter the cost per ounce difference.  This girl sauce needs the wine.

You should also know by now that I'm going to season the dredging flour with salt, black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne.  Why would I bread anything with plain flour?

And you should know by now that I love all things gravy and sauce.  I add about 1/4 c of the sauce to the spinach because spinach deserves boozy love too.  Don't we all?

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Chicken Florentine Style
slightly adapted from from Everyday Italian

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper

All-purpose flour, for dredging

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

2 tablespoons minced onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 1/4 cups dry (not sweet) white wine

1 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 packs (10 oz ea.) frozen spinach, thaw and drain

Sprinkle the chicken with seasonings. Also season the flour. Dredge the chicken in the flour to coat lightly. Shake off any excess flour. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken. Brown and cook until almost done. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep it warm.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Add the wine. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and boil until the sauce reduces by half, stirring often. Stir in the parsley. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the sauce, and turn the chicken to coat in the sauce. Simmer to finish cooking the chicken while you cook the spinach.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in another large skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach and sauté until heated through. Add about 1/4 cup of the sauce to the spinach.

Place a mound of spinach on each plate. Place chicken on top of spinach. Pour sauce over chicken.


  1. Man, you are fast. I haven't even looked at my cookbooks yet... or the internet for a Giada recipe.
    Looks good!

  2. This looks delicious! It's my bad for a confusing title--I should have called it "Outside of Italy!" ;-) But our themes are so loose anyway, no matter. I love this chicken--it looks so succulent, creamy and just about perfect in my book!

  3. Debbie-I'm not usually that fast. I just knew when we started w/ Giada that I wanted to fit this recipe in the first chance I got.

    Deb-The title is fine! It'll be fun to see who posts what.

  4. I love this dish! Great job on it, looks appealing. (drooling here) lets have a blog party and bring our dishes.

  5. Okay, I'm drooling over here! This one has been on my radar and I have to have it! I just love everything about it, including your changes and tips (no subbing chicken broth for wine at my house either). I'm so glad that you shared this one. I bet it's going to be a new favorite at my house too.

  6. It's all about the boozy love. And yep, I interpreted it the same way. Great minds and all that, you know.

  7. It's me again.... Just wanted to say that the getting to know you questions were fun!

    I don't know that I can participate in IHCC this week. We're off to Reno.
    oh...and the Taco pot pie was pretty good. We had it again for leftovers. BUT...there was a little too much crust for me.

    Have a good weekend!

  8. Mouthwatering...seriously looks and sounds fabulous!

  9. I'm loving this post. I have Everyday Italian coming my way in the next week or so (just traded for it on Swap.com)--this will be one of the first recipes I flip to. You made me chuckle throughout the post--I really enjoyed reading this. (Oh, and for my "out of Italy," which I haven't made yet, Giada's going to, um, the US...So don't feel too bad about the interpretation.)

  10. You where deffinatly not THE only one to interpret " out of italy" wrong. I admit i thougt so to, untill i read the post last monday. So i hadn't made anything yet but i had chosen a recipe, so i switched to parisian steak and cheese Crossaint sandwiches. What a great giada recipe is chicken florentine!

  11. Out of Italy, inside of Italy - makes no difference to me - this is a great dish, and you made a great post out of it. I've definitely added this one to my list of Giada recipes to try :-)

  12. The title was ambiguous, we admit. But anything goes on IHCC as long as you get the chef right! ☺
    Great dish, I love your adaptations.


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