Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 19: Tuscan Garlic Chicken

This dish is similar to the Asiago Chicken I posted about before, but slight differences make it just as amazing!

It's much more creamy and saucy, with bell peppers instead of sun dried tomatoes. Also, the spinach gets heated a bit more so it's less salad-like than the other.

Both Jason and Jay say they prefer the creaminess of this one. I prefer the fettuccine to the penne. I'm sure I could combine the best of both dishes and make an even better dish than both, but I wouldn't know what to call it.


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp finely minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips or chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
6 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup lowfat milk (I used 1%)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound fettuccine


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).

2. In a shallow pie plate, or similar dish, combine the flour, salt, black pepper, basil and oregano. Dip each chicken piece in the flour mixture until both sides are well coated. (Don't toss the flour mix just yet, you'll need a tablespoon of it later.) Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes.

3. In a large 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Carefully place the chicken breasts in the pan, cooking them for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden and browned but not cooked all the way through (they'll finish up in the oven). Don't scoot the chicken around in the pan or the breading will fall off.

4. Gently remove the chicken to a foil-lined, lightly greased baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside and tent with foil until ready to use.

5. While chicken is baking, heat a large pot of water to a boil and add the fettuccine, cooking until al dente.

6. Wipe out the skillet with a couple of paper towels and return it to medium heat, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add the garlic and bell pepper, sautéing for 2-3 minutes.

7. Stir in one tablespoon of the flour mix and stir constantly while cooking for another minute.

8. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring the mixture to a low simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.

9. In a small liquid measuring cup, whisk together the cornstarch and heavy cream. Add the spinach, milk, and cream mixture to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the spinach is wilted and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2-4 minutes.

10. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

11. When the pasta has finished cooking, drain and return it to the pot. Toss in half the cheese sauce.

12. Place some of the coated pasta on each plate. Top with a breaded chicken breast and spoon some of the sauce over the top of the chicken and pasta.

13. Serve immediately.

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