In the culinary arts, the word “Florentine” refers to a recipe that is prepared with spinach and cream in combination with a main ingredient such as poultry, fish, or eggs. Such recipes are named in honor of the city of Florence, Italy, where this culinary art was created, for example, Chicken Florentine, Fish Florentine, Eggs Florentine. The moniker honors the place of creation! Today we will honor the city of Florence by preparing a wonderfully delicious Chicken Florentine!
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz. each)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 and 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup minced shallots
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of quality dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups baby spinach (about 3 oz.)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat (#5 or at the half-way point on your burner dial). Sprinkle the chicken with the pepper and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook, turning once, for approximately 8 minutes per side until golden brown on both sides and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F. Transfer to a plate to cool and set aside.
With the heat still on medium, melt the butter in the same skillet. Add the minced shallots and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring often until just softened. Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet, and turn the heat down to a simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the cream and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often until the mixture can coat the back of a spoon.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the spinach and remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir until the spinach is wilted.
Cut the chicken against the grain into diagonal strips, 1 inch wide and 2 to 3 inches long, and return it to the skillet, lightly mixing it with the other ingredients. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so.
Garnish with parsley and serve.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
As followers of Jesus Christ, we also carry a moniker, don’t we? It is “Christian” and its purpose is to honor Jesus Christ, our Creator, Redeemer, Savior, and Lord. Similarly to the recipe’s title, if you place your name before this mighty moniker, it becomes a powerful, influential signature as to who we are, who we represent, and who we honor, doesn’t it? In my case, it is “Cheri Christian”. While we don’t identify ourselves in this way in the natural (though perhaps it would be a good reminder to us and a statement to the world if we did), it is completely accurate in the spiritual, isn’t it? As such, let us try to remember to bring glory to Jesus in all we do and never besmirch the precious Name we carry!
— Cheri Henderson