Although there is a sauce on this dish, smothering the chicken breasts, it is a very simple white sauce, with the addition of a little spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. The spinach makes it a Florentine dish, with Florence being another of the major cities in Tuscany. Parsley, salt and pepper are the only seasonings, making this a very traditional Tuscan dish.
The only exception that I would take to the authenticity of this dish is the cheeses used. The cheese of renown in the Tuscan region is pecorino. As a harder cheese, pecorino could definitely have been used in place of the grated Parmesan. It also could have been shaved and put on top of the chicken breasts, making a much more authentic dish.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2-3 breasts), sliced thin down the length of the breast so that you end up with two thin half-breasts from each breast
3 Tablespoons olive oil
6 slices of thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped
4-6 slices of deli sliced Mozzarella cheese (one for each breast piece)
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon of black pepper
Salt to taste
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
½ cup sun dried tomatoes
In a large skillet, cook your thick bacon, remove from pan, drain reserving about one tablespoon of bacon fat.
Chop the bacon and set aside.
In that same large skillet add the olive oil to the one Tablespoon of bacon fat
Place your thin sliced pieces of chicken in the skillet and cook on a medium to high heat for roughly 4 minutes on each side OR until browned lightly on each side and cooked all the way through (NO PINK)
Remove fully cooked chicken from your skillet, and set aside.
In the same skillet, add in the heavy cream, chicken broth, garlic powder, parsley, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.
Whisk over medium/high heat until it begins to thicken.
Add in your spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and allow it to simmer until the spinach starts to wilt.
Turn the heat on low
Next add the chicken breasts, one at a time, into the pan, lightly coat with the sauce and place the sliced mozzarella cheese over each chicken piece and sprinkle with the cooked bacon.
Cover for about one minute until the cheese completely melts.
Serve each breast portion over the pasta of your choice, with the sauce as a gravy.
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Quick Tip: To keep your cream sauce from separating as it cooks, you could dissolve a teaspoon or two of cornstarch into either the heavy cream OR the chicken broth before using it to compose your sauce. Just make sure that you stir it constantly, adding a little more cream or broth if it starts to get too thick.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Recipes Heaven