Easy 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).
What is Tuscan Chicken?
The definition of Tuscan chicken is somewhat loose and flexible. This recipe contains a number of ingredients that are classic to Tuscan cooking: olive oil, spinach, tomatoes, Parmesan, garlic, and fresh herbs. All of it is bound together with broth and cream, then of course there is the chicken, and the results are fantastic.
I’ve heard this is also called Marry Me Chicken — I think it’s as good a way to propose (or I guess solicit a proposal?) as possible!
How to Make 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ok, this was clearly like a love letter to this creamy chicken 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 Creamy Tuscan Chicken is one of the most delicious chicken dishes I have made in a while. It also might be one of the prettiest.Tweet This
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.
What to Serve with Creamy Tuscan Chicken:
- Chopped Winter Salad
- Roasted Asparagus with Creamy Lemon Dressing
- Spicy Braised Radicchio and Red Cabbage with Citrus
- Green Beans with Tarragon Vinaigrette
- Best Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
More Creamy Chicken Recipes:
- Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet
- Chicken and Dumplings
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Chicken with Mushrooms in Cream Sauce
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Creamy Tuscan Chicken
- 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
- ½ pound orzo or cooked hot pasta optional
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 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.
The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
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