“Roasted garlic lends a rich flavor to this appetizing entree, and it complements the spinach nicely. Ideal for entertaining, the recipe can be assembled in advance and popped in the oven when guests arrive.”—Joanna Johnson, Flower Mound, Texas
- 4 whole garlic bulbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 package (9 ounces) fresh baby spinach
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper, divided
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
- 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups 2% milk
- 2-1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Hot cooked pasta
- Chopped tomato and minced fresh parsley, optional
- Remove papery outer skin from garlic (do not peel or separate cloves). Cut tops off of garlic bulbs; brush bulbs with 1 tablespoon oil. Wrap each bulb in heavy-duty foil. Bake at 425° for 30-35 minutes or until softened. Cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place spinach in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown chicken in remaining oil on both sides; place over spinach.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in 2 cups cheese, nutmeg and remaining salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a blender; squeeze softened garlic into blender. Cover and process until smooth. Pour mixture over chicken.
Cover and bake at 425° for 30-35 minutes or until a thermometer reads 170° and sauce is bubbly. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer. Serve with pasta. Sprinkle with tomato and parsley if desired.
Freeze option: Substitute 5 ounces frozen chopped spinach that has been thawed and squeezed dry for fresh spinach. Cool unbaked casserole and sprinkle with remaining cheese; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 425°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in chicken to read 170°. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Saucy Garlic Chicken in Taste of Home February/March 2011, p69
Full-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
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