A while back, in honor of Julia’s Child’s birthday (she would have been 104 this year), I created this Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet, a dish that embodies one of her many excellent sayings: “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
You can fuss all you want with fancier dishes, with exotic ingredients, with new techniques, but isn’t it true that when you make something super homey, super comforting, that’s the meal that makes everyone ask for seconds? When in doubt, choose the path of comfort food.
Here thinly sliced chicken breasts are enveloped in a creamy, cheesy sauce peppered with wilted spinach and sundried tomatoes. Sundried tomatoes were all the rage years ago, and then they faded out of fashion, but I always think it seems a shame to turn your back on a great ingredient, just because it was a little overexposed for a while.
This Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet is super homey, super comforting—thinly sliced chicken breasts enveloped in a creamy, cheesy sauce with wilted spinach and sundried tomatoes.Tweet This
Using Sundried Tomatoes
Try to find real sundried tomatoes, which won’t be hard little dried-up disks, but rather pliant, brick red, little chewy bites then that will make all the difference. If there is a store that sells good Italian ingredients in your world, seek them out there. If you want to use oil packed sundried tomatoes you can, but use paper towels to blot excess oil before chopping them.
Using Thin Sliced Chicken Cutlets
You can buy thin sliced chicken cutlets at the market or the butcher, or use a steady hand and a large sharp knife to cut regular chicken breasts horizontally into thinner slices—depending on how thick your chicken breasts are you will get two or three slices per breast, about 1/2 inch thick apiece. Fresh herbs are lovely, but dried are perfectly acceptable here.
This makes a nice amount of creamy sauce, which is a very good thing, because when you serve up this chicken over a plate of steaming pasta or rice you’ll want to have lots of starchiness alongside the chicken to ladle the luscious sauce over.
More Comforting Skillet Recipes
- Cast Iron Pan Pizza
- One Skillet Chicken with Cheesy Orzo and Baby Kale
- Pan Seared Pork Chops with Madeira and Leek Cream Sauce
- One Skillet Cheesy Beef and Macaroni
Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken cutlets
- 2 large shallots chopped
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- ½ cup grated Fontina cheese
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups roughly chopped spinach
- ½ cup roughly chopped sundried tomatoes
- Hot cooked rice or pasta to serve
- In a very large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sear the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned and just barely pink in the center. Do this in batches if needed, and remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Return the skillet to medium heat, add the shallots, and sauté for 2 minutes until they starts to become tender. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Stir in the heavy cream, oregano and thyme, and heat until the edges of the sauce start to bubble. Sprinkle in the Fontina and the Parmesan cheeses and stir until they are melted. Stir in the spinach and the sundried tomatoes and keep at a very low simmer until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pan and allow it to heat through, about 2 minutes. Serve the chicken with the sauce over hot rice or pasta.
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