Easy Chicken Florentine

The colder weather is here, and it makes me want to hunker down with carbs. Is this some sort of genetic conditioning? Survival of the fittest? Ok, well, definitely not survival of the “fittest” because who is fit after eating a pasta that has butter, bacon and cream in it?

If your jeans button just popped open reading the list of ingredients, I apologize. A little. Ok, not at all. Because this is so tasty you won’t even care that you can’t fit into your skinny jeans anymore. It’s a win-win situation.

Ingredients Needed:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup butter
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
bundle of fresh spinach
fresh mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cup bacon ( or bacon bits)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Put your chicken breasts into a baking dish that can be covered. I only used two, there is plenty of sauce for 4!

If you want real bacon, start frying it now. You can use bacon bits, and as much as I hate to be a food snob, I AM when it comes to funky fakey bacon thingys. I don’t like bacon bits, I adore real, fresh bacon and nothing compares.

Take your bunch of spinach, and cut it so that you get almost all the ends off. This is a rather large amount so don’t worry if you take some of the leaves off, you have some to spare.

Perfect! I don’t have time to sit and make sure that each stem is removed, and you only want the soft leaves for this.  Plus I have the luxury of a living composter, aka my rabbit, who is more than happy to eat my lefties.

Wash the spinach.

Wash and start chopping up the mushrooms.

Put the butter into a pot and melt it.

When its good and hot, put in the garlic and toast it up a bit. I threw it in and it sizzled up nicely. Add in the lemon juice and the mushroom soup and mix it up.

I read a cooking website recently that stated they never used canned soups in their cooking, because it was so typical “mom” or “home cooking”. I laughed until I had tears in my eyes.

Psst. I have a secret.

I love canned soup.

Pssst. Hey you.

Not you, the guy over there in the Harley leathers and a frilly pink apron, the one making my Best Scones Ever, yah, HIM.

I have another big, bad, nasty, soul-eating kind of secret. The kind you have nightmares over, the you-are-standing-naked-in-front-of-a-bunch-of-people type of nightmare.

I could ( and do!)  eat mushroom soup out of the can with a spoon.  But not while naked in front of people. Yet.

Lordy, I am such a crass, home cooking mom. Sigh.

And by the way, if you DO wear Harley leathers and have made my scones, or heck, any of my recipes, send me a pic. I know you’re out there.

Add in the cream. Because this isn’t nearly fattening enough already, of course.

Italian spice!

Interrupt the proceeding to accept lovely flowers from your husband. He must have known that I was making a masterpiece and sweating away in the kitchen, and came in from work with flowers.

I think I’ll keep him.  At least another week or two.

Mix in your Parmesan cheese, AND one cup of  the mozzarella. and heat the sauce up until the cheese in melted in, stirring constantly! Don’t burn it! When it’s done, set it aside.

Start your mushrooms frying, and when they are done, add in your bacon.

Throw your spinach in and watch it shrink. I am amazed every time I cook with spinach, how does it get so small, so fast? So cool. Yes, I dont’ get out of the house much at all, ok?

Shrinky spinach!

Time to add both pots together and mix well.

Pour it over your chicken breasts, the sprinkle the last cup of mozza cheese on top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, until the chicken is done. I use a meat thermometer and just poke it straight into the chicken around the 35 minute mark to test. It doesn’t disturb the sauce on top or anything. I don’t know what I would do without a meat thermometer, I would be lost.

This was absolutely fantastic over whole wheat pasta. This would be a good dish to convert that certain someone (aka the spouse, or heck even yourself) over to whole wheat pasta without much of a fuss. It is so amazingly tasty that who cares what the pasta is made of?

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