Sep 8, 2016

Chicken Florentine

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Dishes that include the term “Florentine” refer to dishes influenced by Florence, Italy and typically feature spinach as a main ingredient.

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The weather may still be fairly warm here in California but with the end of summer my mind immediately starts to wander to more cool-weather dishes; braises, and creamy, hearty dishes. I like these recipes because they fall in a special “in between” category that is,  “in between” summery dishes made with vegetables and white meat and fall dishes that feature more hearty fare.

Give me a creamy sauce and I’m all in – like lick-the-plate-clean status. In this dish seared chicken thighs with crispy skin are topped with a creamy garlic spinach mornay sauce.

Chicken Florentine

What is Chicken Florentine?

Dishes that include the term “Florentine” refer to dishes influenced by Florence, Italy and typically feature spinach as a main ingredient.

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Chicken thighs – While most recipes for chicken Florentine use chicken breasts, I prefer seared chicken thighs instead since they are juicier and you get that crispy skin.
  • Mushrooms – I typically use crimini also known as baby Bella mushrooms when I cook. They have a meatier, earthier mushroom flavor compared to white mushrooms. I recommend buying whole mushrooms and slicing them yourself so they are more evenly cut than pre-cut mushrooms. Use a damp paper towel to wipe away dirt before slicing the mushrooms.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes – Sun-dried tomatoes add a contrast of texture and flavor in this recipe. I prefer oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes to the dried packaged version. The oil helps to keep them slightly hydrated.
  • Spinach – Wilting spinach for this recipe is a great way to give a second life to spinach on it’s way out. The spinach can be substituted with other greens like kale in this recipe.
Chicken Florentine recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

How to Make Chicken Florentine

  1. Heat oven. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Sear the chicken. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and sear until crispy and golden brown, about 10 minutes, rotating the chicken occasionally.
  3. Cook the chicken in the oven. Move the skillet to the oven and roast for about 15 minutes, until completely cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let stand for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Sauté mushrooms. To make the sauce, heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown.
  5. Add tomatoes. Mix in the sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Stir in the flour stirring constantly until it turns an amber color, about a minute or two. Add the milk stirring to combine.
  6. Simmer and add spinach. Bring the sauce to a simmer and stir in the red pepper and spinach. Continue to stir until the spinach has wilted. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Assemble and serve. Serve the sauce ladled over the chicken thighs and garnish with parsley. Serve with a side of rice, pasta or quinoa.
Chicken Florentine recipe from cooking with cocktail rings closeup

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this chicken Florentine recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Chicken Florentine recipe from cooking with cocktail rings side view

Chicken Florentine

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs, about 2 pounds
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
  • ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 packed cups baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, for garnish

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and sear until crispy and golden brown, about 10 minutes, rotating the chicken occasionally.
  • Move the skillet to the oven and roast for about 15 minutes, until completely cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let stand for at least 5 minutes.
  • To make the sauce, heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Add the garlic and the mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown.
  • Add the sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the flour stirring constantly until it turns an amber color, about a minute or two. Add the milk stirring to combine.
  • Bring the sauce to a simmer and stir in the red pepper and spinach. Continue to stir until the spinach has wilted. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the sauce ladled over the chicken thighs and garnish with parsley. Serve with a side of rice, pasta or quinoa.

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  1. Made this for dinner, so delicious, and beautiful! I was a little short on spinach,, so I added some green beans, and leftover roasted butternut squash, served over brown rice.
    Look forward to leftovers tomorrow!

  2. I don’t cook often, but my husband and I got lots of cookware as wedding presents so we wanted to try them out while we were quarantined. This is our first meal, and it came out GREAT!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe

  3. The skin is actually very crispy!! Just put the thighs on top of the sauce instead of the other way around so it doesn’t get soggy from the sauce. Crispy skin is my favorite part too! You can even broil it a little (just like 2-3 minutes) after baking it to make sure it’s as crispy as you want.

  4. Another fantastic recipe! I had family over for dinner last night and we enjoyed this, served with a side of rice and green beans, and of course a glass of wine. Thank you for continuing to share such flavourful and fun recipes – I will definitely be making this again!!