As you probably know, a recipe that includes the word “Florentine” has spinach in it. Chicken Florentine Casserole is no exception. Now that the holidays have passed, I thought I should focus on both “healthy” meals and meals that could be frozen then reheated when time is of the essence.
The Chicken Florentine Casserole fulfills both of these requirements. Additionally, it’s easy to put together and absolutely delicious.
The ingredients include chicken, mushrooms, unsalted butter, olive oil, onion, garlic, all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, dried thyme, dried sage, milk, Vermouth, Parmesan cheese, and Swiss cheese. I know it’s a lot of ingredients, but it really does come together pretty easily.
Making the Chicken Florentine Casserole
Over medium heat, I melted 1 Tablespoon butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven. I added the chicken and cooked it until all pink was gone, which took about 5 minutes.
I removed the chicken from the Dutch oven with slotted spoon, then added the sliced mushrooms. I cooked the mushrooms over high heat until all of the liquid had evaporated, then removed them from the Dutch oven. This took a couple of minutes.
Next I sautéd the onions in 3 Tablespoons of melted butter over medium heat until they were translucent. This took about 5 minutes.
I added the minced garlic to the onions and continued cooking the mixture for about 30 seconds until the garlic was fragrant. Then I added the flour to the mixture, stirred to combine, and cooked it over medium heat for another minute or so.
Next came the milk and Vermouth that were added to produce a basic white sauce.
I cooked the sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly until it had thickened nicely. Then I added the grated Parmesan cheese and spices, stirring the sauce until the cheese was melted.
I then added the chopped spinach that had been squeezed dry and stirred to combine everything.
I returned the chicken and mushrooms to the spinach mixture, maintaining the cooking temperature of medium heat, and stirring to ensure that all ingredients were well combined. This was the point where I tasted the mixture to make sure that the seasonings were correct. It was perfect.
Because the idea was to produce not only tonight’s dinner, but also a spare to be frozen for later consumption, I divided the spinach mixture between two small rectangular Pyrex dishes, and topped each with shredded Swiss cheese.
Into a 375° F oven one of the dishes went for about 20 minutes until the cheese was nicely melted and the mixture bubbly.
The other dish was covered and put in the freezer for another time. Yum!
If you’re looking for some more meals that freeze beautifully, check out my Six Cheese Turkey Lasagna or Make Ahead Sheppard’s Pie. Or head on over to my Hurricane Meals section for a wide variety of meals that can be frozen ahead of time.
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- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter divided
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (24 ounces)
- 12 oz. fresh mushrooms sliced
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 2 Tbs. Vermouth or white wine
- 1 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 1/2 tsp dried Thyme
- 1/2 tsp. dried Sage
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
- 1 28-oz. package frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed dry
- 2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded (8 ounces)
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Melt 1 Tablespoon butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add the chicken; and cook over medium heat until white on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; set aside. Add sliced mushrooms to Dutch oven. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring constantly until browned and all liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms from pan; set aside.
- Add remaining 3 Tablespoons butter to Dutch oven set over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add onion; sauté over medium heat 5 minutes. Add minced garlic; cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add milk and Vermouth. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture has thickened. Add salt, pepper, thyme, sage and grated Parmesan cheese. Continue to cook over medium heat until Parmesan cheese is melted. Add spinach; stir to combine. Return chicken and mushrooms to spinach mixture; cook over medium heat until heated through. Correct the seasonings.
- Pour the spinach mixture in a 2½ quart casserole dish. Top with shredded Swiss cheese. Bake at 375ºF for 20 minutes to 30 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned. Yield: 6 servings.