By Kelly Bogard
Everyone likes different things at my house. I like chicken and spinach, my husband likes chicken and cheese, and our two-year-old loves spinach and cheese. Cooking for a family can be challenging, but that’s what makes it fun for me. I love meals that sound fancy but are really simple to make. Take Chicken Rockefeller, for instance–a chicken and cream based dish with spinach and cheese, and pasta thrown in for good measure.
Before you start, it’s a good idea to have your cooking utensils/tools/gadgets ready. I’m the world’s worst about this. I’ll get two or three steps into a recipe and realize I forgot something. For Chicken Rockefeller, you will need the following:
1 sauce pan
1 8×8 casserole dish
1 liquid measuring cup
1 dry measuring cup
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Drizzle olive oil into a warm skillet. Place four chicken breasts into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Allow them to cook over low to medium heat until cooked through.
While the chicken is cooking, melt two tablesp0ons of butter in the sauce pan. I prefer to use real, salted butter. Once the butter is melted, sprinkle in two tablespoons of flour and combine. Let this cook for about three minutes over medium heat. Now, whisk in 1 and 1/3 cups of milk and continue to cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Make sure to whisk the sauce often to keep it from burning.
When the chicken is done, remove from the skillet and allow to cool. Now you can use the same skillet you used for your chicken to wilt your spinach. Don’t worry about adding more oil. You have the liquid leftover from the chicken to work with. Turn the heat back to medium and add in one chopped shallot and two to three cloves of chopped garlic. Grab two large handfuls of fresh baby spinach and add them to the skillet. Technically, the recipe calls for two cups of spinach, but in my opinion, you can’t have too much. Two handfuls is close enough in my book. Just stir, poke down and pick up any stray pieces to throw back into the pan. Everything will begin to shrink down and turn a lovely shade of dark green.
Add the spinach to your cream sauce and blend well. Throw in some parmesan cheese. The recipe calls for ½ cup of parmesan, but feel free to eyeball it if you like things a little cheesier. Once everything is melted and combined in the sauce, place the chicken in the casserole dish and pour the sauce over it. Don’t worry– this sauce tends to be a little thick. Top with 1/2 cup of buttered bread crumbs and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it can be served as a stand-alone dish or you can add something to it, like angel hair pasta.
Recipe: Chicken Rockefeller
Summary: Chicken with a spinach cream sauce
Cooking time (duration): 45 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 4