Monthly Archives: April 2011

Chicken Francese and Wilted Spinach


I was really excited about trying this recipe. I loved the ingredients, and there aren’t that many. I love cooking fresh spinach, I can’t stand that stuff in the can, and the frozen kind is only good for putting into recipes with other ingredients in my opinion. 

So I got into the kitchen with Kevin and went straight to work. Well, Kevin went straight to work actually. Since he has become my sous chef I don’t do much prep work. Something I think I have been taking for granted a bit. He has been sick for the last three days so I have been on my own to cook. I realized how much help he is and how much I love being in the kitchen with him.

With all the prep done we got down to the business of cooking which ended up becoming a problem. The recipe calls for you to add a crushed clove of garlic to the pan as the oil and butter heats up. I realize after the fact that it was just to “perfume” the oil and butter with garlic, but the recipe wasn’t clear on that fact. It never calls for you to remove the garlic from the pan. The little voice inside my head told me to remove the garlic, but I of course ignored that smart little voice and left the garlic in as I cooked the chicken.

The chicken cooked beautifully. This recipe calls for chicken cutlets and you know by my previous posts that I like using cutlets a lot. They were a perfect golden brown and we couldn’t wait to eat them. I liked the fact that you only use a light coating of flour. The chicken wasn’t heavily breaded, just that nice little crispy.

After the chicken was done the recipe called for the addition of wine and a few other ingredients to the pan the chicken was cooked in to create a sauce for the chicken. I added everything it called for but when I went to taste it all I could taste was burnt garlic. UGH! Thank goodness the flavor didn’t taint the chicken, but the sauce was tragically unable to be salvaged. Now I am in a spot. Chicken is cooked perfectly and ready for a sauce but there was no sauce to use. I quickly washed the pan out to get rid of that awful burnt taste and threw together a sauce of my own. I used butter and garlic (unburnt this time), added some flour to the mix to make a quick roux. To that I added white wine, chicken stock, salt and pepper and threw in some parsley at the end. It came out great THANK GOD!! The meal is saved!

I quickly wilted the spinach and called everyone to get their food. I was very nervous to see what they would think of my on the fly sauce. I began to here mmmm’s so I knew I had gotten away with it. Woohooo yay me!

So this was a growing experience for me. I used to stress out over making sure everything was perfect and there was a day when I would have thrown my hands up in the air and had no idea what to do after the mishap. But now I am able to think clearly and shoot from the hip if I have too. It felt really good. I guess I really turned this recipe into one of my own by changing the sauce so drastically. That is a nice feeling too. If anyone makes this one could you please let me know how your sauce turns out. And for goodness sake don’t forget to remove the garlic before you cook the chicken!

Chicken Francese and Wilted Spinach


1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cutlets
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning (half a palmful)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (eyeball it)
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
a splash of milk or half and half
4 tablespoons EVOO
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, 1 crushed, 2 chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine (a couple of glugs)
a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 pound triple washed spinach, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg (eyeball it)

Preheat a large nonstick over medium to medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Dredge the chicken in flour. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolk with milk or half and half and season with salt. Add 2 tablespoons of EVOO to the skillet. Then add 2 tablespoons of the butter cut into small pieces. When the butter melts into the oil, add the crushed clove of garlic to the skillet. Wen the garlic speaks by sizzling in the oil, coat the chicken in the egg mixture, then add to the hot pan (remember to take the garlic out of the pan before you do this).Cook the chicken on both sides until just golden, 6 to 7 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent loosely with foil to retain the heat. Add the wine to the pan and deglaze by whisking up the drippings. Reduce the wine for 1 minute, then add the remaining tablespoon of butter and parsley to the pan. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Return the skillet to the heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of EVOO, then add the chopped garlic and let it come to a sizzle. Wilt the spinach, turning it to coat in the EVOO, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Serve the spinach alongside the chicken francese. Pass crusty bread to mop up the sauce.