Spinach and Artichoke Topped Chicken

by Beth on March 12, 2009

I just love spinach and artichoke dip, so when I saw this recipe for Spinach and Artichoke Topped Chicken on Joelen’s Culinary Adventures I knew I just had to try it! I had some heavy cream on hand after my ice cream making adventure, so I whipped up this dish.

Preparing the topping was quite easy, but it took a little longer than my usual routine of quickly seasoning chicken breasts with random herbs or salad dressings and tossing it in the oven. I had never thought to top the chicken breasts with something other than a simple sauce while they baked. I’m certainly glad I found this recipe.

The chicken was delicious! The creamy topping was rich and flavorful, and the chicken turned out very tender. This recipe will be going into my regular rotation, and I plan to experiment with other topping combinations.

Spinach and Artichoke Topped Chicken

For Chicken:
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt & pepper to taste or seasoning salt
garlic & onion powder to taste

For Sauce:
1/2 10-oz box frozen spinach
1 tablespoon EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil), twice around the pan
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (eyeball it)
1/2 14 ounce can artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
1-2 handfuls grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt and black pepper

For Topping:
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs for topping
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare your chicken by seasoning it to taste with salt, pepper, seasoning salt, garlic and/or onion powder (however you’d like) Place chicken on baking sheet.

For the sauce, begin by microwaving the spinach on high for 6 minutes to defrost.

Heat a deep skillet over medium heat with the EVOO and butter. When the butter melts and is hot, add the garlic. Using a box grater, grate the onion directly into the skillet.

Saute the onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour into the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the stock, then the cream, and bring the sauce to a boil. Season the sauce with nutmeg and reduce the heat to low.

Place the defrosted spinach in a clean kitchen towel and wring it dry. Separate it as you add it to the sauce. Stir in the chopped artichokes and a couple handfuls of cheese, then season the spinach-artichoke sauce with salt and pepper. Topped the raw chicken breast with spinach artichoke sauce.

Combine the panko breadcrumbs and cheese for the topping and sprinkle on top of the spinach artichoke sauce.

Bake chicken in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until juices run clear and chicken is thoroughly cooked.

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