This is the first of a monthly cooking segment series on Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch featuring chefs from local restaurants preparing a dish that you can try for yourself at home.
If you have a favorite chef you think we should feature, e-mail the editor, Jim Powers, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month we welcome Chef Marcos Rea of Francesca's Intimo in Lake Forest. Chef Marcos shows Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch readers how to prepare Chicken Florentine, one the of the restaurant’s longtime customer favorites.
Chicken Florentine (Polla all Fiorentina) 4 servings
For the chicken and batter:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 lbs. fresh spinach, washed and dried
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
For the lemon sauce:
1 stick butter
1 tbsp. shallots, finely chopped (divided)
1 cup white wine
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp. olive oil
For the garnish:
2 small tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat a skillet over a medium high heat.
For the batter and the chicken, beat the eggs in a medium bowl until smooth. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dip each piece into the batter, coating evenly. Then dip each piece into the flour, shaking off any excess. Add the olive oil to the pan and sauté the battered chicken breasts on both sides until lightly brown. Place the pan in the oven to finish the chicken (about 10 minutes).
For the lemon sauce, sauté half the shallots with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add the white wine and reduce over medium high heat for a few minutes. Add the cream and lemon juice and reduce for another 2–5 minutes. Melt the butter into the sauce and set aside.
For the spinach, in a separate pan, sauté the remaining shallots in 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add the spinach and toss rapidly until wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place the chicken on the plate alongside the spinach, add the cream sauce, and garnish with the tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper.
Francesca's Intimo is located at 293 E. Illinois Road in Lake Forest, (847) 735-9235, miafrancesca.com.