~ San Gimignano as seen from the vineyards of Campochiarenti ~

Simplicity is a hallmark in many of my recipes.  This is embodied, not only in Tuscan cooking, but Italian cooking as a whole.  This comforting chicken dish relies on a few simple ingredients.  It’s success is dependent upon using the freshest products available.  Delicious, simple and easy the entire process takes less than 30 minutes.

Wine, ingredients and cutting board

~ We start with mis en place. A handful of crimini mushrooms, a handful of cherry tomatoes and fresh baby spinach ~

Chicken Breast in Light Cream Sauce

3 Chicken Breasts, butterflied
1 Package Baby Spinach
6-8 Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
6-8 Cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup light cream
1 large dollop of creme fraiche
2 pats butter
Salt & Pepper to taste

Browned Chicken Breasts

~ This is the browned chicken breasts and the deglazed pan ~

Butterfly the chicken breasts and season well with salt and pepper.  In a pan large enough to hold the finished dish, melt the butter, drizzle in a bit of extra virgin olive oil and brown the breasts on both sides for about 2 minutes per side.  Remove the chicken and set aside. Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine and then add the cream.

Spinach and mushrooms in a pot

~ Step 2: The vegetables have been added and the spinach is wilting ~

Next, add the tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach.  Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes soften and the spinach completely wilts, about 8 minutes.  If the sauce becomes too dry, add more cream.  As the spinach cooks, it will release its water. This is not a problem because you’ll thicken the sauce at the end.

~ This is the vegetables and sauce just before thickening and returning the chicken to the pan. You can see how much creme fraiche I used. I suppose it was about 4 ounces ~

Once the vegetables are cooked, add the creme fraiche to thicken the sauce.  What is creme fraiche?  If you’ve never used it, it’s really just sour cream that isn’t sour.  As an alternative, you could use mascarpone cheese with similar results.   Stir in the creme fraiche and return the chicken to the pan.  Simmer another 5-6 minutes to be certain the chicken is fully cooked through.

Chicken in a pot

~ This is the dish just before serving. This recipe actually made enough for 3 entrees. So if you need more, consider doubling the recipe ~

We served the chicken along side carmelized green beans and the 2016 Campochiarenti San Nicola Chianti Colli Senesi.  This wine is a deep garnet color and has never disappointed.  It’s aromas and flavors consist of crushed black cherry, dark cocoa, pipe tobacco and leather. Fresh and juicy on the palate, with lively acidity, it was the perfect foil to cut the “fat” of the cream sauce.  A delicious wine from San Gimignano that drinks well now and has plenty of life ahead of it.  93 points.   Available from the Winery.

The Chef’s plate…

~ This really was delicious, simple and quick to make. Give it a try and post your thoughts in the comment section! ~

Tutti a tavola a mangiare!

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