Creamy Tuscan Chicken

I have a lot to say about this chicken. I really do. The first thing I will say is that it’s one of the most delicious chicken dishes I have made in a while. The second thing I will say is that it also might be one of the prettiest. We’ll have to throw our thanks for all of the above to a bit of cream, cherry tomatoes, spinach and fresh herbs.

When in doubt, these are ingredients to turn to for color, freshness, flavor and lushness. Or when you want to pretend that you are in Tuscany (or Umbria, or somewhere else in Italy that’s really, really good).

Flouring the Chicken

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Dredging the chicken cutlets in flour before sautéing them does a few things. It helps them brown better, which gives them appealing color and deeper flavor.

And the flour from the chicken toasts in the oil, and then adds richness to the dish, and thickens the sauce as well.

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Deglazing the Pan

You saute a bit of garlic for just a moment after the cutlets have browned, and then add broth to the pan. This is the “deglazing the pan” part, where the liquid releases all of those lovely browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and starts to form a sauce. Again, the flour causes the broth to gain some body and coat the chicken and pasta really well.

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

And then the heavy cream. Not a ton, but enough to make the sauce rich and delicious. Cream has wonderful flavor, and fat also carries flavor, so you are on your way to an amazing sauce now.

Add the Rest of the Ingredients

Parmesan, which will add savory cheesy saltiness to the sauce. Plus thicken it up even more. Fresh herbs, because they are awesome. But if all you have is dried, they will be absolutely fine.

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Spinach flecks the sauce with brilliant green color.  And then – boom – in go the cherry or grape tomatoes.

The chicken is returned to the pan to get sauced and finish cooking.  And chopped parsley is added at the end for even more freshness and color.  Serve this over the pasta or starch of your choice – rice, quinoa or polenta would also be great.

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Ok, this was clearly like a love letter to this dish. But I think we can all see why. And while pictures do say 1000 words, that clearly doesn’t stop me from a writing a few hundred more.

This is one of the most delicious chicken dishes I have made in a while. It also might be one of the prettiest.

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Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Also cherry tomatoes are easily available year long, and are on the whole MUCH less disappointing than larger tomatoes out of season. Yes, this is best with fresh herbs and tomatoes picked from the vine, or procured from a farmers’ market (preferably in Tuscany). But in the depth of winter if you need a cheery colorful pick-me-up dinner, I highly recommended this creamy chicken dish.

Sides to Serve Creamy Tuscan Chicken with:

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

More Chicken Recipes:

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Creamy Tuscan Chicken

This is one of the most delicious chicken dishes I have made in a while. It also might be one of the prettiest. A one skillet dish!
Yield: 4 people
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts about ½ inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 cup less-sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus more to serve
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved or quartered if large
  • 1/2 pound orzo or cooked hot pasta optional
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  • Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
  • Heat the olive oil in a very large skillet over medium high heat. Dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour mixture and once the oil is hot, cook the cutlets in the pan for about 2 minutes on each side until they are golden brown, and almost but not quite cooked through (a bit pink in the center). Transfer the cutlets to a large plate as they are cooked.
  • Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic. Stir for just one minute until you can smell the garlic. Add the chicken broth and stir so that any browned bit stuck to the bottom of the pan are released into the liquid. Stir in the cream, basil, oregano and gradually add the Parmesan, sprinkling it slowly as you stir. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach and tomatoes, and simmer for another 2 minutes or so, until the spinach is wilted and everything is well combined. Tuck the chicken back in the pan, with any juices that may have collected, making sure it is at least mostly covered by the sauce. Cook for 2 more minutes until the chicken is hot and cooked through.
  • Either serve the chicken over the hot pasta, or transfer it to a serving dish. Sprinkle with the parsley, and serve hot with extra Parmesan passed on the side.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 767kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 181mg | Sodium: 1832mg | Potassium: 1217mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3190IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 245mg | Iron: 4mg

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Comments

      1. Wonderful easy recipe with ingredients you probably have on hand.. especially of you have a garden! Family loved it. Served over garlic buttered noodles.

    1. Made this for the first time last night and it was a huge hit for 4 of us. Great recipe with some roasted asparus with made alongside a rustic baguette. I added some paprika to the flour / salt / pepper mixture and used 2 lbs of chicken thighs instead of flattened breast meat which added another layer of depth. I look forward to playing around with this recipe a lot more!

  1. This sounds delicious, but at 15 grams of saturated fat, I’ll pass. Would love to see recipes that are both delicious AND healthy!

    1. No need to comment then, Laurie. The internet is a vast world where you can google “delicious and healthy recipes” and you will be treated with thousands that fit your needs. Move along.

      We are a very active and healthy family and I’m looking forward to feeding this to my growing and hungry teenagers. Thanks for the recipe!

      1. I had the same problem with the cheese clumping and congealing on the bottom of my pan. I used a cast iron skillet. Could that have been the problem?

        1. Hello Mary,
          I don’t think it’s that you used a cast iron pan. My theory is that your broth/cream mixture wasn’t hot enough when you added the cheese, or it was added too fast. I grated a block of parmesan (rather than from a container), added it slowly to steaming hot broth/cream. I also *always* heat cream in the microwave before adding it to a hot liquid, otherwise it can scald and separate (which may be what happened too). Note that the cheese is not just being melted, but it’s being dissolved, so keep the liquid hot, close to boiling (but try not to boil because it can separate) and add patiently over a couple of minutes.
          I’m a huge fan of cream sauces and made this recipe tonight with only minor modifications and it was exceptional. Although it took me a lot longer to prep than 20 minutes lol. I will post a general comment later on. My girlfriend said it was one of the best recipes I’ve ever made, and I’ve been cooking some amazing things for her for 9 years now.
          This recipe was actually served to me via Google News, of all things.

  2. Wow. This was delicious! I basically doubled the recipe so I have some leftovers to take to work. I also added in even more spinach and grape tomatoes because yum!

    Now that I’ve made it for my family, time to do it for guests. It looks fancy.

  3. Thank you for this delicious recipe. My (20 YOA) daughter and her friends thought this was the best meal they’ve had. I agree. One of the best…and they all have various ethnic backgrounds with delicious dishes of their own.

  4. One of the four best meals I’ve had in my life. The sauce is amazing – creamy without being gloppy. Just a light parmesan and garlic flavor. The vegetables are bright and tasty. It’s pleasing in appearance and also very easy to make.

  5. I never comment on recipe blogs, but dang, this was good. Had to restrain myself from eating too much of it. But how can you go wrong with garlic, Parmesan, and cream?
    Used broccoli raab instead of spinach, as it’s what I had. Would have preferred it on long pasta vs. rigatoni, as pictured and as I prepared it.

  6. I made this dish last night for company. Recipe was delicious and relatively easy. I used boneless skinless thighs that worked well. Beautiful presentation.

  7. Great recipe and tasty. I doubled the chicken broth and cream to make more sauce but not the cheese so it wouldn’t be quite as thick. I also added sun dried tomorrow’s in place of fresh, mushrooms, and red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. Really good.

  8. This was so amazing!!! My whole family loved it. I let the sauce and chicken simmer for about 10 minutes and the sauce tasted AMAZING, but I think it was a bit thin. Id hold back on the chicken broth and do like 3/4 cup and then add more if the sauce it too thick? Also, ADD SOME CAYENNE! :) (if you like a little spice)– it made this sauce perfect. 10/10 thanks so much for the recipe!!!

  9. This is an exceptionally good recipe that was actually served to me via Google News!
    I only made minor modifications:
    – In addition to slicing the cutlets, I pounded them for extra tenderness.
    – I applied the spices directly to the chicken, then coated in Wondra flour; rest 10 minutes before frying.
    – Used a sprinkling of paprika and cayenne on chicken per reader suggestions.
    – Deglazed pan with 1/3 C dry white wine, then the chicken broth, per great reader suggestion.
    – Used 2 on-the-vine tomatoes, seeds and pulp completely removed, instead of cherry tomatoes because that’s what I had on hand.
    – Fresh basil growing in kitchen… a little extra: 2.5 T; spinach: also a little extra
    – More cream: I used 1+1/3 cup; cooked sauce a bit longer to reduce and thicken.
    – Used 2 tsp Minor’s chicken base + 1 C water as the broth.
    – Added 1/4 tsp dijon mustard to sauce. I love wine/mustard/herb cream sauces.
    – Heat cream in microwave before adding to hot liquid; add cheese slowly when broth/cream mixture is hot and steaming, stirring continuously so it dissolves.
    – Sprinkled half the chopped Italian parsley onto the chicken and into the sauce while cooking, reserving half for sprinkling at serving time.

    I’m a huge fan of cream sauces and made this recipe tonight with only minor modifications and it was exceptional. Although it took me a *lot* longer to prep than 20 minutes lol. My girlfriend said it was one of the best recipes I’ve ever made, and I’ve been cooking some amazing things for her for 9 years now. I would say that 1.5 lbs. chicken (which fit as a single layer in my deep 12″ pan) in this recipe served over penne is about 3 servings not 4.
    An excellent recipe! I took photos.

  10. My husband and I loved it!!! I also added sautéed mushrooms which were a big hit!!!! One question; how do I double the sauce mixture for additional chicken? Would like to cook this for guests.

    1. you really can just double the recipe! if you have a big enough pan, like a 13-inch deep skillet you can do it in one pan, just make sure to cook the chicken in batches. or, use two pans, and just make each a single batch side by side.

  11. Made this many times and am always amazed by the color and beauty of the finished product Took a photo and sent it on to friends along with the recipe and ingredients! Great way to use cherry tomatoes that are a bit soft. They puff up from the heat! I use only organic baby spinach and always fresh basil. That’s the flavor (and fresh taste) you want to come through! Once you start over-adding other spices and ingredients you lose sight of the beauty and simplicity that makes this recipe so special ! Good quality ingredients in it’s simplest form-enhancing the natural flavors of everything you see in the dish-adding fresh herbs to awaken the palate-this is how I prefer to cook in the Pacific Northwest! Thank you for developing this recipe!

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