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:

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. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

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