Cozy creamed spinach meets chicken in this new classic comfort dish.
Thank god it’s not bathing suit season because this week has me reeling and seeking comfort at the bottom of a bowl. This is a two fork, three napkin, don’t cork the wine because we’ll just finish it type of week. I have no answers for my kids and am doing my damndest not to become complacent.
I’ve written my letters, made my calls, and wagged my finger on social media. And to what end? This is supposed to be a blog about food, recipes, and the occasional giggle, except I’m not feeling especially silly right now. I’m angry. And I’m scared.
I send my kids out the door every morning with a zipped backpack and peck on the cheek knowing that they’ll come back to me in roughly eight hours. But that’s thing, it’s no longer a given. The unthinkable happened at Sandy Hook five years ago. Five. Years. Ago. That was supposed to be our watershed moment. And yet the unthinkable has happened again and again. At schools, places of business, places of worship, concerts…places where we’re meant to feel secure and protected.
Our hearts break, we offer condolences, we’re grateful it’s not us. But maybe it’s just not us yet. This isn’t about politics or about our president. It’s about our kids. It’s about common sense. It’s about survival.
There’s a playground dedicated to one of the victims of Sandy Hook at the camp my boys attend every summer. Everyday when I drop off the boys I see the image of this sweet, smiling, little face that’s mounted to the play-set. A face that will never get a blemish, grow embarrassing peach fuzz on his upper lip, or a wrinkle in his forehead. I think of his parents that probably wish they could complain about their son’s picky eating habits or how he incessantly leaves his socks on the floor.
I don’t want to be that parent wishing I had another day with my boys, wishing I’d hugged them instead of scolded them as they walked out the door. I want to go back to writing about cookies and broccoli and my kids’ annoying habits, but right now I feel like it’s time to speak up and do something. We need to act. Not talk, not point fingers, not politicize, but instead effect real and lasting change. It’s not an easy issue and of course it’s multi-layered, but it’s not going away. We can start by making our voices heard by contacting our representatives and demanding bipartisan action. And we mustn’t just accept this as the new normal because there is nothing normal nor acceptable about the loss of 17 lives at a Florida high school.
So thanks for letting me climb up on my soap box today and rant. I’ll hop off now and share with you a dish that is pure comfort. It’s classic creamed spinach that I turned into a sauce and used to smother and cover these browned, juicy chicken breasts. It’s an easy weeknight dinner and while it won’t solve all the world’s problems, it will leave you leave you satisfied in stomach and soul. And I don’t know about you, but my soul could use a little nourishment right now.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 - 2 1/2 lbs)
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup Wondra flour or all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 oz fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground or grated
- juice of half a lemon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper and coat with flour. (I like to shake the flour and the chicken breasts in a ziploc bag.)
Heat a large skillet (oven-safe) or cast iron pan over high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl around in the pan.
Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer and cook until golden brown on one side, about 4-5 mins and turn and cook an additional 4-5 mins.
Remove the chicken breasts to a plate, reduce the heat to medium, and add the minced garlic to the pan. Cook the garlic about 2 mins and add the white wine.
Cook until the white wine is almost completely reduced and add the spinach and a pinch of salt.
Stir and cook until the spinach is wilted. Stir in the chicken stock, cream, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and turn off the heat.
Lay the chicken breasts in the pan, turning once to coat and place in the oven to cook until they reach 160 degrees, about 8-10 mins.
Remove the pan from the oven and place the chicken on a plate, cover, and rest. Return the pan to the stove and bring the sauce to a boil and reduce until just slightly thickened, about 5 mins. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over the top, slicing the chicken if desired.