Tuscan Chicken – Tender, Juicy Chicken with a Creamy Tuscan Sauce
A one pan dish that takes only 30 minutes! Tuscan Chicken starts with a juicy, flavor packed chicken cutlet, then it’s topped with a creamy, Tuscan style sauce. Tuscan Chicken features mushrooms, parmesan cheese, garlic, spinach, sundried tomatoes and a sprinkle of sliced green onion or chives. So much flavor in so little time – definitely a family favorite. It’s quick. It’s easy. And it’s oh, so delicious!
When making a velvety Tuscan sauce, always choose quality ingredients. This is especially true when considering a great tasting Parmesan cheese. I try to always use authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano, it’s a little more expensive, but the flavor is absolutely worth it.
Mise en Place – The Key to Success
The term mise en place is a French word meaning to put in place, or gather. It’s an important part of any professional kitchen, but it’s just as important for the home cook. Take the time to prep your ingredients and read through the recipe before you begin. When it’s time to add an ingredient, it’s great to have it ready to go. This simple step can help ensure you get the very best results.
Mise en place is the religion of all good line cooks.—Anthony Bourdain
A delicious variation of Tuscan Chicken
As wonderful as this perfectly cooked chicken breast smothered in a creamy Tuscan sauce is, you might want to switch it up from time to time. For example, if you’re feeding a crowd or you’ve got younger kids at the table, it might be easier to simply cut the chicken into bite-size pieces before cooking. Don’t worry, it will still be delicious! In fact, with more surface area, each succulent bite brings extra flavor.
Know Your Pans
Generally speaking, there are two types of pans in the world of cooking: reactive and nonreactive. Yes, there are numerous different sizes, shapes, and cooking types, but knowing the difference between reactive and nonreactive pans can help bring your cooking to the next level.
When you’re using an acidic ingredient, such as the sundried tomatoes in this yummy Tuscan Chicken, you’re going to need a nonreactive type pan. Acidic foods and ingredients, such as tomatoes, wine, or citrus can cause reactive pans to leech a metallic taste into your food. The most common reactive pans are cast iron, aluminum, and copper. A nonreactive pan can be one with a non-stick coating, like Teflon, as well as stainless-steel, enamel, glass, ceramic, or tin. One of my favorite pans for Tuscan Chicken is an enamel coated cast iron Braiser.
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless/skinless, about 3/4 lb each
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, divided
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 Tbsp butter, unsalted
- 12 ounces mushrooms, preferably brown
- 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained and chopped
- 1/3 cup scallions, green part only, chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2-1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, unsalted
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded , preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 3 cups baby spinach
Prepare the Chicken
- Cut each chicken breast in half, horizontally; so you end up with 4 cutlets. Season both sides of the chicken with about 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the seasoned chicken to the hot skillet and sauté until cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side. Chicken should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.
- Remove chicken from skillet; cover to keep warm. If desired, slice each breast.
Prepare the Tuscan Sauce
- In the same skillet the chicken was cooked in, add the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil and the sliced mushrooms; sauté 5-7 minutes, until golden and excess liquid has evaporated; stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, green onion, minced garlic 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Sauté another 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant, be careful not to brown the garlic.
- Stir in the half-and-half and chicken broth; sprinkle in the parmesan cheese. Heat just to a light boil, stirring frequently; reduce heat and simmer about 2 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the baby spinach into sauce and stir just until it's wilted. Add the cooked chicken back to the pan, along with any juices. Gently spoon some of the sauce over the chicken, then remove from heat. Garnish with chives or sliced green onion, if desired.