Yes, yes, I know, that’s not how you spell florentine, but since I made this up, and my name is Lauren, you get flaurentine.
Okay, I know. That was rather dorky, but that’s what you get when you come ’round here. Recipes with a side of dorkiness and occasional puppy pictures. You should know this by now.
This is just a simple, relatively quick and easy weeknight main course that should satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Even those picky eaters that eschew spinach, because in this dish, the spinach is fresh, sauteed in olive oil with onions and garlic, and sandwiched between golden chicken cutlets and bubbly mozzarella. What’s not to love?
Florentine means cooked “in the style of Florence,” which basically means “with spinach.” I’ve never been to Florence, so I don’t know … are they big spinach-fiends over there or something?
I’ve seen plenty of different recipes for chicken florentine – some are casseroles, some incorporate canned soup, some are served with Mornay or white wine/cream sauces. They all sound pretty delicious, if you ask me. Mine doesn’t feature any sort of sauce, but I think the oozy, gooey, melted mozzarella more than makes up for it. Besides, I’ve decided that flaurentine means “in the style of Lauren,” which obviously translates to “with melted cheese.”
Chicken flaurentine (serves 2 with leftovers)
6 chicken cutlets
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp milk
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
6 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly
Whisk your egg and milk together in a medium-sized bowl, then set aside. Next, put your bread crumbs in another medium sized bowl, then set aside.
Season your chicken cutlets with salt and pepper, dip in the egg/milk mixture, then dip in the bread crumb mixture, coating the chicken evenly. Put your chicken on a plate and set aside.
Next, rinse your spinach, trim any stems and discard any discolored leaves. Set aside.
Heat about 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the chicken in batches until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side, adding more olive oil as needed.
Place the cooked chicken in a single layer in a large baking dish and set aside. Turn on your broiler – the temperature should be about 550F.
Add more olive oil (about 1/2 tbsp) to the same skillet and saute your onions until soft and fragrant. Add your garlic and cook for about one minute more. Add your spinach and cook until wilted.
Remove the spinach-onion-garlic mixture from heat and try to press as much excess water out as possible, then spread the spinach over the chicken. Arrange your mozzarella slices over the spinach. Place the baking dish under the broiler and cook 5-6 minutes, or until the cheese turns golden brown and bubbly. Serve … alongside/over pasta, perhaps?