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 and reheated when time is of the essence.
The Chicken Florentine Casserole fulfills both of these requirements! In addition, 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.
I removed the chicken from the Dutch oven with slotted spoon, and added the sliced mushrooms. I cooked the mushrooms over high heat until all of the liquid had evaporated, and removed them from the Dutch oven. This took a couple of 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.
I returned the chicken and mushrooms to the spinach mixture, and continued heating over medium heat, 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.
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 (24-ounces) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
12 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons Vermouth or white wine
1¾ teaspoons Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried sage
½ cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
1 (28-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups (8-ounces) Swiss cheese, shredded
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.
Note: This freezes extremely well.