A classic Tuscan entree with some zip. It’s a work of love, but well worth the reward!
Make the Béchamel:
1. Melt 3 TB butter in medium sauce pot and add 3 TB Flour and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
2. While butter and flour are cooking, heat 2 cups whole milk in microwave until just boiling.
3. Add all at once to sauce pot whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
4. Cool over medium heat for 12-15 minutes until thick, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.
5. Add 3 TB grated Parmagiano-Reggiano, a few dashes of grated nutmeg, pinch of salt and pepper, and stir well
6. Cool, stir often to prevent skin from forming.
Sautée the Spinach:
1. Heat oil over medium heat in 10” pan, add spinach and pinch of salt, and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.
2. Remove to chop board, and finely chop and dice.
3. Return to pan, add garlic, cook 10 minutes over medium low heat until dry and all liquid is gone.
4. Add Nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste, then add ¼ cup Thick Béchamel, mix and cool 30 minutes in fridge.
Prepare the Green Peppercorn Sauce:
1. Melt 4 TB butter in pan and add peppercorns and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes
2. While peppercorns are cooking, heat beef stock in microwave until just boiling.
3. Combine 2 TB butter with flour in small bowl and mix well with a teaspoon until smooth.
4. Add roux to pan and mix for 1 minute.
5. Add 2 cups hot beef stock (half) to the pan and whisk until smooth.
6. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes
7. Transfer pan contents to blender, and blend on low for 3 minutes. Careful, as hot shit tends to explode out of the top of the blender, so start slow, then increase speed to pulverize.
8. Return blender contents to pan, add remaining 2 cups beef stock.
9. Simmer 40 minutes over medium low heat stirring occasionally with spatula to scrape down sides, adjust with pinch of salt as needed.
10. Serve or freeze in small containers.
Assemble and Prepare the Chicken:
1. Slice each breast in half horizontally, so there is a top and bottom of equal thickness
2. Beat eggs well, add a pinch of salt, and then add breast halves (keeping them near each other so you can match them up later) and soak them for 30 minutes.
3. On tin foil, scatter 1 cup bread crumbs, and lay out 4 chicken breast bottom.
4. Spoon 2 TB of Béchamel in center 75% area on each breast (don’t want it oozing out the side)
5. Spoon 2 TB of Spinach on top of Béchamel
6. Cover spinach with 2 TB of Béchamel in the 75% area
7. Lay top breast over to enclose, and sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs. Press down all over and on sides to seal and ensure all is coated well with breadcrumbs
8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set. You can freeze it for 10 minutes too.
9. Heat oil in pan to 350F and cook chicken 5-7 minutes per side, drain, sprinkle with kosher salt, and let rest 10 minutes.
10. To serve pour ¼ cup Green Peppercorn sauce over each, garnish with chopped parsley & lemon wedges.
When making the Green Peppercorn Sauce, stir often scraping down the sides during the last 40 minutes. Don’t worry about any butter/sauce separation after it is done, it will whisk together smooth again when you want to use it. Freezing in small plastic ¼ cup containers works well – just microwave to serve.
Also, any leftover spinach mixture can be combined with leftover Béchamel and thinned with milk to create Creamed Spinach.