I don't think you're ready for this recipe.
Nah, seriously. This is an adult recipe. This is something that goes on behind closed kitchen doors. It's that good.
Okay. But don't say you weren't warned.
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded flat for even cooking
2 T butter and/or olive oil (I used the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes)
¼ - ½ c sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (slice thinly or buy julienned), drained
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
2-3 tsp Italian seasoning (or basil, thyme and oregano, depending on your tastes)
1 T Balsamic vinegar
½ c chicken broth
1 c heavy cream (or half-n-half, if you don't want the extra calories)
2 c fresh spinach leaves
¾ c Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Pasta of your choice, cooked to package directions. I used linguine, but fettuccine, spaghetti, tortellini, or cheese ravioli would be fantastic!
1. Heat the butter/olive oil in a large skillet and add chicken breasts. Spinkle with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and cook on both sides until golden and chicken is done. Set chicken aside and cover with foil to keep warm while you cook the sauce.
2. To the pan (you should still have a little oil left, along with the chicken drippings), add garlic and tomatoes. Stir them around a little bit until the garlic turns a light brown color, then add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth. You can add more Italian seasoning at this point, if you want to. Turn the heat up a little and let the sauce reduce down. You'll know it's the right consistency when the bubbles that occur become bigger and look large and a little foamy.
3. Add the heavy cream and stir everything together, letting it come to a slow simmer. You can turn the heat back down at this point. After a couple of minutes, add the Parmesan cheese and stir well. Make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the skillet. Add the spinach and toss it with the sauce until the spinach wilts.
4. Once the spinach has wilted, put the chicken back in the sauce to warm it back up, then serve with the pasta and a giant piece of crusty bread.
Try the following variations:
- sliced mushrooms
- diced red, green, or yellow bell peppers
- chopped asparagus
- use freshly torn basil instead of spinach
- lightly bread the chicken with Panko or Italian bread crumbs before cooking
OH!! And a tip for leftovers (hey, ANYTHING is possible): when you store them, mix the sauce right in with the pasta. Then, when you go to heat it up, add a little cream to revive the sauce. It's almost better the next day.