Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chicken Limone with Spinach and Caper Cream Sauce

I love food challanges. I don't mean as in a competition, though. I don't think I will be a contestant on any shows like the next "Food Network Star" any time soon. I do like the challange of researching and developing a recipe, however. Recently, I was asked if I had a good recipe for Chicken Limone with Spinach. I knew that this was basically lemon chicken, but I liked that this person gave the dish a little sophistication, making it French. I have a large collection of cookbooks, and I looked through them all in search of a recipe. I did find "lemon chicken" recipes, and "picatta" recipes, but nothing that included spinach. I was determined to find an actual dish that had these three main ingredients, chicken, lemon and spinach, that fit the description of the request. I went to the web. More chicken lemon recipes, but none really looked that great or seemed that different to me. So, I decided to create an easy dish that hopefully would inspire people to try. The chicken would be pounded and floured, much like a traditional chicken marsala or a chicken picatta, but I didn't want the coating to be too heavy. I wanted to be able to taste the chicken, and not the breading, and for the chicken to be tender and moist, and not dried out. I thought I would try cake flour for its fine texture. Cake flour is much more finer than regular all-purpose flour. The other ingrediets would include lemon and chicken or course, but the key to this dish has to be the sauce. The sauce is the best part. Using finely chopped shallots and garlic, chicken broth to deglaze the pan after cooking the chicken, capers, to give a slightly salty flavor, and lemon juice and a touch of cream, will create a velvety lemoney sauce. I will garnish with chopped Italian parsley and a very thin slice of lemon, and that will my dish.

Chicken Limone with Spinach and Caper Cream Sauce

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, pounded 1/4 inch thick
1/3 cup cake flour, plus 1/2 teaspoon
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 shallot, finely minced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 cup chicken broth, plus 1 tablespoon if needed
3 tablespoons heavy cream, plus 1 tablespoon if needed
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups fresh baby spinach
Olive oil

Between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper, pound chicken breasts until 1/4 inch thick. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in cake flour, shaking excess off. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan. Cook chicken on medium high for about 5 minutes on each side or until turning a pale golden brown. You may need to add a little more oil to the pan. Remove chicken to plate. Add chicken broth, scraping up any bits from the pan. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, capers, shallots, garlic, and cream. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add two tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon of cake flour to thicken sauce. Add chicken back to pan. Cook covered for 2 to 3 minutes on each side to coat chicken with sauce. Remove again, add spinach to pan and saute until spinach is wilted, about one minute or less. If sauce is too thick, add a little bit of chicken broth to thin out. Put spinach on plate and top with chicken. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley. Serves two.

After making this creation I took a taste. The chicken was tender and moist. The cake flour did exactly what I wanted it to do. The sauce is lemony. If you want a milder lemon flavor, then you could omit the lemon zest and cut back the lemon juice. I personally love it. The creamy sauce with the capers is so delicious. I hope you try this at home.


Cook chicken until golden


lynne said...

Made this tonight!! Michelle! Seriously so amazing!!
My family loooooved it!! Thanks for the awesome recipe!!

The Inspired Table said...

Thanks, Lynne! Glad you guys liked it :)

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