This quick-cooking but slightly complex dish manages to be both healthy and decadent. It's healthy because it's made with tender white meat chicken and has a generous portion of spinach built in. It's decadent because of the creamy wine sauce, made with butter, white wine, and heavy cream. This is always a big hit with my wife and me, a romantic two-serving recipe that we can't get enough of, despite the fact that we both usually dislike cooked spinach. I promise that if you try it, you will find it to be light and delicious, and if you make it for a date, it will score you several points.
Salt both sides of the chicken and dredge it in the flour to coat. Let it rest for 2-3 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter, stirring until the butter is completely melted. Add the chicken, being careful not to let the oil splash on you. Let cook for five minutes, until the bottom is lightly browned.
Turn the chicken over and cook for another five minutes. Then remove the chicken and cover it with aluminum foil (shiny side down) to keep it warm.
Lower the heat on the skillet to medium and add the shallots and garlic. Stir. Let it cook for about four to five minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, place the spinach in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it on high for three minutes.
Add the wine to the skillet, being sure to scrape the bottom as you stir. Let it cook for two to three minutes, until it is reduced by about half. Then add the cream and stir. Let it cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir the spinach and return it to the microwave for another three minutes. Then pour the sauce into a strainer, being sure to stir and push the shallots in order to drain them completely. Discard the shallots and rinse the strainer.
Pour the sauce back into the skillet, stir in a pinch of salt if desired, and add the chicken, turning them to ensure they get coated in the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and add the tarragon, directly on top of the chicken.
Pour the spinach into the strainer, along with a heavy pinch of salt and as much black pepper as you like. Stir it around with a fork, until it is well-drained.
In order to assemble the finished dish, start with a layer of the cooked couscous or mashed potatoes (half of what you've got on each plate). Then layer half the spinach over it. Next add two pieces of chicken, and finish by spooning on half the sauce right on top. Enjoy!
-e. magill 9/16/2010
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