Thursday, March 17, 2016

CHICKEN BREASTS FLORENTINE - Petto di Pollo alla Fiorentina

Here is another Italian-American way to serve boneless chicken. . .on a bed of spinach. This recipe serves two but you can easily double it to serve four. If you don't have vermouth, you can substitute white wine, but vermouth is a fortified wine that is aromatized with herbs and spices and gives the sauce a wonderful flavor. This is the same vermouth that is used in making martinis. Sweet vermouth is used in the Italian drink Negroni, and both are used in the classic American drink, the Manhattan.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
½ cup (125 ml) flour, for dredging
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T (30 ml) extra-light olive oil or grape seed oil 

2 T (30 ml) unsalted butter, divided 

1 T (15 ml) unsalted butter
2 large shallots, cut in half and sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
¾ cup (175 ml) dry vermouth
½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream or half-and-half (half cream) 

2 T (30 ml) chopped Italian parsley, for garnish

Cut each chicken breast in half, lengthwise.
Gently pound chicken between layers of plastic wrap to ¼-inch (6-mm) thickness.

In a shallow bowl, add the flour and season generously with salt and pepper.
Dredge chicken breasts in flour mixture, shaking off excess.
Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of butter in a large skillet and fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.
Add a splash of the vermouth and cook for another minute.

Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Using the same skillet, add the second tablespoon (15 ml) of butter and sauté the shallots for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the remainder of the vermouth and continue to cook and stir for a couple minutes.
Turn heat down to the lowest setting and add the cream or half-and-half and gently heat for one minute.

Return the chicken to the skillet, cover and gently simmer for another 2 minutes.

1 T (15 ml) unsalted butter
1 bag (10 oz/300 g) baby spinach, rinsed and drained in a colander 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Meanwhile, in another very large skillet, melt the butter and add the spinach, season with salt and pepper, and cook while stirring, until lightly wilted. This takes just a few minutes.

Remove spinach with tongs to a warm platter and place the chicken and shallots on top. 
Pour the sauce over and serve.

Serves 2 

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