May 12, 2011
Cream sauce – it’s something I limit in my diet to “on occasion” status. Well, this past weekend was an occasion to purchase the heavy cream. Not for any special reason, but simply because the recipe I saw Giada De Laurentiis make on the Cooking channel looked really delicious.
Wanting to try out her recipe for chicken scallopine with saffron cream sauce, I made a variation adding cumin and mustard seeds. The result is a wonderfully fragrant dish that’s slightly reminiscent of Indian cuisine, yet with dry white wine maintaining classic Western flavor.
I served my spiced cream sauce and chicken over fresh baby spinach; however, an option I tested as well is to add the spinach into the cream sauce along with the chicken during the last 5 minutes of simmering. The chicken and sauce will also work well over angel hair pasta. Enjoy!
Chicken Scallopini in Spiced Cream Sauce over Spinach
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’ Chicken Scallopine with Saffron Cream Sauce
1 lb chicken cutlets (about 2 thin cut chicken breasts)**
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbs olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and sliced thin
2 plump garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup white wine
1-1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 large pinch of saffron (about 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. fresh baby spinach
Rinse and pat chicken dry before seasoning with salt and pepper. Place flour in a large Ziploc bag and season with 1/4 tsp salt. Place chicken cutlets in bag and shake well. Remove chicken from the flour shaking off the excess and place flour-dredged chicken aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil and heat for about 1 minute. Add chicken cutlets and brown on one side for about 3 – 4 minutes before turning chicken over to brown the other side for another 3 – 4 minutes. Remove browned chicken from the pan and set aside under aluminum foil.
Add garlic and shallots to the pan and sauté for about 2 minutes (don’t let garlic burn). Add mustard and cumin seeds and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes. Add white wine, broth, and saffron scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen all of the flavor bits from the chicken. Simmer for about 10 minutes allowing wine and broth to reduce.
Add heavy cream, fresh cracked black pepper, and stir before adding the chicken back to the pan and simmering for another 5 minutes. Serve chicken over fresh or steamed spinach along with several spoons full of the cream sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley.
** Note: Scallopini (Scallopine) means thinly sliced chicken breast or chicken breast butterfly-cut and pounded thin usually between two pieces of plastic wrap using a mallet. My store-bought chicken cutlets were thin enough, so I skipped the step of pounding them thin.