Test. Test. Test! Chicken Florentine Casserole

My better-half and I are thinking seriously about entering an IDOS 3-Pot cook off. This is a huge leap of cooking-faith for us, trust me! So, I decided to make dinner tonight in our 12″ Camp Chef Texas Dutch Oven, following (and slightly amending) America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe from Cover and Bake, pages 57-58, to see if this might be a recipe we try at a Cook Off. I love spinach and chicken, and who doesn’t love Gruyere cheese??? I’ve gathered most of what I will use to make Chicken Florentine in a 12″ Dutch Oven with everything except charcoal. Let’s see if this recipe is a winner!

My first variation from the recipe’s instruction was to use french bread and oilve oil, not white sandwhich bread and butter. Next time, I will toast the bread to make it crunchy.  The olive oil was delicious, light, and added a lovely peppery flavor to the topping.

With the oven set to 400 degrees, I added olive oil and crushed garlic to the pot for a few minutes.  Next, I  prepared the spinach in two stages, according to the recipe. At first, I thought I could get both into the pot, but after trying this, I agree with the authors that two stages are needed to prepare the spinach and garlic.

I am always amazed how much fresh spinach shrinks!

Next, I take paper towels to wipe the 12″ pot clean, then add more olive to saute a medium sweet onion.

Next, I add the rice to the hot oil and onions, stiring to coat the grains with oil. I substituted arborio rice instead of the long-grain rice called for in the recipe. We like the soft texture of this risotto and appreciate the way it sticks together in a dish. I also substituted chicken stock for water, adding another layer of flavor to the dish.

While the rice was cooking, I made the cheese sauce in an 8-inch dutch oven. I realized that I don’t have a wire-wisk that is safe for the dutch oven so I had to use my red-rubber coated tongs to mix the flour, butter, and chicken stock together. I was worried it would be lumpy, so you can imagine my suprise when the sauce was smooth and silky!

The nutmeg in this Gruyere cheese sauce adds a lovely and subtle flavor to the finished dish. The recipe calls for 1/8th of a teaspoon. Next time, I will double it to at least 1/4th.

When the rice finished cooking, I added the drained and chopped spinach, then the chicken cutlets, cheese sauce, and bread crumbles.

Waiting for the dish to cook was the hardest part of the process, but was well worth it!

Here is a shot of the final results. We loved the smooth texture of the risoto combined with the spinach. The chicken was moist and tender. I had a hard time tasting the Gruyere cheese and I thought the whole dish needed more salt throughout. I’m not sure this one would be fancy enough for an IDOS 3-Pot Cookoff, but I do know it would be wonderful for any meal served at a Dutch Oven Gathering.  This is a delicious recipe to prepare and easily feeds 6 to 8 hungry folks.

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1 Response to Test. Test. Test! Chicken Florentine Casserole

  1. Robert & Samee says:

    Sounds like a winner


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