Thursday, January 2, 2014

Chicken Cutlets with Mushroom Sauce and Wilted Spinach

Chicken Cutlets with Mushroom Sauce and Wilted Spinach

Chicken simply seasoned, lightly floured and sautéed until crisp? Heaven! Anything with mushrooms, seriously, I love that! I grew up watching Popeye the Sailor and always ate my spinach and still do – as often as I can!

Combine all three of these, none of which take any special tricks or inordinate amount of time to prepare, and you’ve got a real winning dinner. I’ve added a couple of preparation steps in the Tips and Trending at the end of the recipe to visually kick up the presentation if you really need to impress someone, but the combination of flavors should really be enough to do the job nicely.

Chicken Cutlets with Mushroom Sauce and Wilted Spinach
Yield: Serves 4     Preparation Time: 30 Minutes     Cooking Time: 30 Minutes


• ½ Cup Sour Cream
• ½ Cup Half & Half
• 1 Cup + 1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
• ¼ Teaspoon Grated Nutmeg
• 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
• ½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
• ½ Teaspoon Onion Powder
• ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
• 1 Clove Garlic, peeled and mashed with ⅛ teaspoon Kosher Salt
• 5½ Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
• 1½ Tablespoons Canola Oil
• 1 Pound Spinach, trimmed of woody stems and washed but not dried
• 1 Shallot, thinly sliced
• 8 Ounces White Button Mushrooms, sliced
• 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, each sliced into 2 Cutlets
• ½ Cup Homemade Chicken Stock, or low sodium store bought

Preparation Steps

Step 1. Preheat oven to 200ºF

Step 2. In a small bowl combine the sour cream, half & half, 1 tablespoon of the flour and the nutmeg and set aside. In wide shallow bowl or pie plate combine the remaining 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and set aside.

Step 3. In large sauté pan melt 1½ tablespoons of the butter and the oil together over medium heat. Stir in the mashed garlic and then add the spinach. Toss with tongs just until wilted. Transfer the spinach to a covered ovenproof bowl to keep warm in the oven.

Step 4. Keeping the same sauté pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter then add the shallots and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft. Transfer the shallots and mushrooms to a small bowl and set aside then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan.

Step 5. Dredge both sides of the chicken in the flour mixture and when the butter begins to sizzle sauté the chicken until well browned on one side, turn and cook on the second side until done. If necessary, cook the chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. (You may have to add some additional butter to cook multiple batches.) Remove the chicken to an ovenproof platter and keep warm in the oven.

Step 6. Add the chicken stock to the sauté pan and scraping the bottom to deglaze the pan. Cook until the stock is reduced by half. Add the sour cream mixture stirring until thickened and the flour is cooked. Stir the reserved mushrooms and shallots into sauce.

To serve individually or family style first plate the wilted spinach, lay the chicken cutlets on top of the spinach and ladle the mushroom sauce over the chicken.

Tips and Trending

~ Don’t use baby spinach for this recipe; instead look for big dark curly leaves with “some meat on their bones”.

~ Any fresh mushroom will do here. I use white button and baby bella varieties interchangeably because they don’t take long to cook up tender. “Wild” varieties work well but may take longer to cook and impart their wonderful flavors so allocate additional time.

~ Slicing chicken breasts into cutlets requires a very sharp knife and some knife skills. Lay the breast flat on your cutting surface and press down with one hand. Cutting parallel to the cutting surface, carefully slice the breast in half. If you are unsure of your knife skills, use a small bowl in place of the hand pressing down on the chicken. (Or you can always ask your butcher to slice the cutlets for you.)

~ For a different presentation, slice each breast into ¼” medallions instead of cutlets. Then “reassemble” the breast on top of the spinach. Speaking of spinach, give it a rough chop before or even after cooking if you want another way to make a neater presentation.

~ Only dredge as much chicken as will fit in your pan at one time. You want the light flour coating to be dry when it hits the hot pan. If you let the chicken sit after flouring, you’ll end up with a paste that will simply fall off the chicken or worse yet, not fall off! We’re grownups now and stopped eating paste a long time ago!

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