Chicken Florentine casserole is a casserole made with chicken, spinach, and Parmesan cheese and cooked in a creamy sauce. Other ingredients such as mushrooms, bacon, white wine, and breadcrumbs are added by some chefs. The dish is generally cooked in the oven at around 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 Celsius) for around 25 minutes, with all of the ingredients combined in an oven-safe casserole dish. Different seasonings are used by different chefs, but salt and pepper are the basic seasonings used in the dish. Most chefs cook onions and garlic in with chicken Florentine casserole to increase the flavor of the dish.
Casseroles can be simply defined as dishes which are served from the same dish that they are cooked in. Generally, chefs will oven-bake casseroles, which usually contain several ingredients in a sauce. Chicken Florentine casserole usually includes chicken breast, spinach, and Parmesan cheese, and the sauce is made from things such as white wine, sour cream, and cream cheese. Many variations exist on the basic recipe for the dish, and chefs should look at several recipes before choosing a specific ingredients list.
Most recipes for chicken Florentine casserole suggest precooking the chicken before adding it to the main cooking pot. This is because undercooked chicken can contain salmonella, and chefs prefer to be sure it is cooked than risk serving raw chicken. Generally, chicken breasts can be seasoned and then placed in the oven for between 20 and 30 minutes to be cooked. Many chefs then opt to shred the chicken before adding it to the casserole.
The sauce that the chicken Florentine casserole is cooked in is usually prepared separately and then combined with the other ingredients in the cooking dish. Garlic, chicken stock, cream cheese or sour cream, and wine are common ingredients for the sauce. These are usually combined in a pan and cooked over a medium heat until thoroughly mixed. Some chefs use a creamy mushroom soup as part of the recipe, and others include additional ingredients such as onion.
Making the chicken Florentine casserole requires the chef to layer all of the ingredients in a casserole dish and pour over the sauce. The spinach doesn’t need to be precooked, and can be laid across the bottom of the dish before adding mushrooms or the other ingredients included in the dish. Chefs pour half of the sauce into the dish at this point, and then add the chicken before pouring in the remainder of it. Parmesan or mozzarella cheese is grated over the top of the dish, and then topped with breadcrumbs. The mixture is then baked in the oven until the cheese browns, usually for around 25 to 30 minutes.