Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pesto Chicken Florentine

Pesto Chicken Florentine was on the menu for dinner last night. I found myself at the grocery store yesterday and I grabbed one of those dry packets of Alfredo mix, which is required in the Pesto Chicken Florentine recipe. I glanced at the back of the packet and saw all of those artificial sweeteners and preservatives and couldn't bring myself to put it in the cart. Instead I grabbed some heavy cream and went on my merry way. Here is the Pesto Chicken Florentine recipe with my changes.

Pesto Chicken Florentine

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in strips
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
3-4 cups fresh spinach leaves
2 cups heavy cream (or 1 cup cream + 1 cup milk)
2 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp pesto
2 cups (measured dry) penne pasta
3-4 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
  • In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken slices, sprinkle with Italian seasoning and add garlic. Cook for 10 minutes or so until chicken is almost done. Add fresh spinach leaves. (It might look like a lot, but it wilts down to almost nothing!) Saute everything for 3-4 minutes, then turn heat to low.
(do the next 2 steps at the same time)
  • In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta for 8-10 minutes, or until it is done to your liking. Drain pasta.
  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat about 1 tsp olive oil, and saute 1 minced garlic clove. Add 2 cups of cream and/or milk and quickly whisk in 2 1/2 tsp of cornstarch. Reduce heat to medium and whisk until sauce thickens, 4-5 minutes. Stir in pesto.
  • Add pasta to skillet and toss to combine everything. Pour sauce mixture over pasta and chicken a bit at a time. **If you like a drier pasta, don't use all of the sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, then taste to see if it needs salt or pepper. (I don't salt it until now because the Italian seasonings, pesto and the Parmesan add a lot of salt, and you can't tell until it's finished how much additional salt it needs)
**I used all but 1/2 cup of the sauce. When I put the leftovers in the fridge, I poured the extra sauce on top, so the pasta wasn't dry the second day. Very tasty leftovers!


kami nygren said...

I tried this and my family really liked it. The only thing we'd change is to add some sort of acidic element to balance out the rich creaminess. Tomato or lemon..??

Lalycairn said...

This looks delicious. I'm making it tonight. :)

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