Easy Chicken Florentine
Florentine is a French term meaning “in the style of Florence (Italy)” and generally refers to a dish served on a bed of spinach and topped with Mornay sauce. Our easy version of this classic combines boneless chicken breasts, fresh spinach and a creamy sauce subtly flavored with sherry and Dijon-style mustard. Topped with a little grated cheese and finished in the oven it goes great with mashed potatoes. Add a green salad to round out a simple, satisfying meal.
- 4 boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lbs)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 1-1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup sherry
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- 8 ounces fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup grated Jarlsberg (or Swiss) cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound them to an even thickness of 3/8-inch.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer (work in batches if necessary) and cook until lightly golden and cooked through, 2-1/2 minutes per side.
- Transfer to a buttered baking dish large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter to the pan. Once melted, add the onion and sauté until softened, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking 1 minute longer.
- Whisk in the flour and cook until well blended and golden in color, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Whisk in the sherry until blended, then start whisking in the milk in 1/4 cup increments, blending until smooth after each addition.
- Stir in the nutmeg and mustard, then add the spinach.
- Continue cooking, stirring often, until the spinach is completely wilted and nicely coated with the sauce, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Spoon the spinach mixture over the chicken. Top with grated cheese and bake until the cheese has melted, 7 to 8 minutes.