21 September 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: Twists on Familiar Favorites

There is a lot of delicious food to be had from all of the resorts around the Seven Seas Lagoon. The Grand Floridian Resort, or the Grand Floridian Beach Resort as it was known once upon a time, has a ton of restaurants worthy of your dining time just by itself. With so many options for dining and upscale dining, it is easy for a restaurant or dish to go under the radar. Certainly, the Grand Floridian Cafe is one such restaurant. Many have been singing its praises for years, ourselves included, but it still isn't the go-to destination for many diners. Today, while we're cooking up something tasty at home, let's revisit the Grand Floridian Cafe, from the early days of the resort, and prepare one of their signature dishes, Chicken Breast Florentine.



2 5-Ounce Boneless Chicken Breasts
4 Ounces Angel Hair Pasta (cooked)
1/2 Cup White Wine
1/2 Cup Fresh Spinach (cut in strips)
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tbsps. Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Tsp. Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp. Garlic (minced)
1/2 Tsp. Shallots (minced)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
1/2 Olive Oil (for marinade)
1 Tsp. Rosemary (for marinade)
1/2 Tsp. Oregano (for marinade)
1/2 Tsp. Chopped Garlic (for marinade)


Combine and blend all marinade ingredients (olive oil, rosemary, oregano, and chopped garlic)
Coat chicken thoroughly with marinade and allow to marinate for 24 hours
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels
In a hot skillet, sauté chicken in olive oil until lightly browned on both sides
Remove chicken from skillet and place in a pan, place in the oven until fully cooked (45 to 50 minutes)
Towards the end of the chicken cooking time, add to the skillet that has remaining olive oil, shallots, garlic, white wine, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, spinach and salt and pepper to taste
Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until spinach is limp and all ingredients are blended together
Placed cooked pasta in a bowl, top with chicken breast and sauce

There seems to be a lot going on here, so let's break it down a bit. Yes, this dish is going to require 2 days to complete as the marinade needs to be prepared and applied to the chicken the day before. Beyond that, it does get slightly complicated in the time management category while trying to start the sauce and pasta at just the right time to coincide with each other being done, along with the chicken. It's not that complex, but it may feel like it the first time through.

As for the pasta, the dish calls for angel hair, but I thick a good spaghetti would also work. In fact, that's what we used. I said it a couple of weeks ago, but do not skimp on the pasta. Whatever you decide to use, it can kick this dish up another notch. The chicken marinade works well, but I think rather than using a skillet and finishing it off in the oven, next time I would cook it over my charcoal grill for that added touch. The last thing I want to call out is the inclusion of garlic, or should I say lack thereof. This isn't a sauce that needs to be overpowered by the garlic, but we will definitely be adding more for our next go at the Chicken Breast Florentine.

This dish was a rousing success for us, even if we have notes for improvements. It is creamy, but not overly rich, savory and hearty, while not being too heavy, and even includes a little bit of a green vegetable. The Chicken Breast Florentine is a classic dish from a classic resort and restaurant, and it will make just about everyone happy at your table.

No comments: