Foodie recipe Ian Leatt

When we talk about home cooked, comfort meals, chicken is at the top of most people’s list. This particular dish, Florentine, brings back many fond memories for me with family, laughter, and lots of warmth. The style Florentine is typically a dish prepared à la Florentine, meaning in the style of Florence, Italy. In the simplest terms, this means the dish contains spinach with a cheese sauce.

The idea with this dish is its roller-coaster flavour journey—sweet, savory while being very rich and comforting, warming you up on those still chilly evenings. Essentially, these simple ingredients combine to create a dish that is exponentially delicious, good enough not just for a regular day but also for guests that may be invited along to savour.

Here is what you will need:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 skinless chicken breasts

2 teaspoons dried oregano

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 cloves fresh garlic, minced

½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

5 green onions roughly chopped

3 cups baby spinach

¾ whipping cream

½ cup freshly shaved Parmesan

Pinch freshly ground salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

Measured amount of linguini

Lemon wedges

The all important how to:

Place a medium sized iron skillet on the stove on a medium heat, add the oil and heat to a medium temperature. Place the chicken and season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook until golden and no longer pink, 8 minutes per side. Set aside.

In the same iron skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in the garlic and cook until clear about 1 minute. Place the cherry tomatoes and green onions in and cook until the tomatoes begin to split then add the spinach and cook until it starts to wilt.

Stir in whipping cream and add parmesan bringing the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce has slightly reduced, about three minutes. Return chicken to skillet and stir the sauce mixture over then cook until heated through, about seven minutes or so.

Place the linguini in your serving dish then the sauce and a piece of chicken dust with freshly chopped parsley. Serve with some lemon wedges


Ian Leatt is general manager of Pegasus Publications and a trained chef