Recipe of the Week: Chicken Florentine in Pesto Verde
A colorful chicken dish from Florence, Italy, that is packed with flavor. The combination of spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto verde gives your chicken scaloppini an Italian accent. Serves eight. (Chef tip: To make chicken scaloppini, thinly slice each breast with a sharp knife.)
8 (3-ounce) boneless-skinless chicken breasts, scaloppini
1/2 cup seasoned flour*
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups baby spinach, washed and shredded
4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of pesto verde (recipe follows)
Lay chicken scaloppini flat on cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and pound lightly with a meat mallet. Flatten and tenderize, do not pulverize. Coat chicken with seasoned flour, dust off excess. Heat oil and butter in a large saut pan over medium heat. Test by sprinkling flour into it, when the flour sizzles, it is time to add the chicken. Saut the chicken until lightly brown on one side and then flip over and cook on the other side, about five minutes per side.
Remove chicken from the pan. Add sun-dried tomatoes and spinach and cook until just fragrant. Deglaze pan with white wine and simmer for five minutes. Add stock, 1/4 cup of pesto verde and chicken back to pan.
Cook for 15-20 minutes on medium heat, turning it occasionally, until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve with a sprinkle of cheese.
*Seasoned flour is made by combining 1 cup all-purpose flour with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese.
(makes about two cups)
2 cloves garlic
2 cup fresh Italian parsley, de-stemmed and thoroughly washed and dried
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed and drained well
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, to taste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all pesto verde ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and puree. Season to taste and set aside.
Chef Loretta Paganini is a visiting chef at The Community House on Sanibel. To contact her, email email@example.com or call 440-729-1110.