The origin of this recipe is a fun story my mom told to my oldest son. She was taking a cooking class in France and among the other students was another cooking teacher named Gary. We don’t know if he was from the US or somewhere else in the world. Between classes when they were having meals at the local restaurants they ran into a dish they loved so much they wanted to copy it. They came back to the cooking class, reverse engineered the recipe, and came up with what she called Chicken Gary after her friend. Of all the wonderful dishes she made, Chicken Gary has probably been the number one favorite for everyone in our family.
Chicken Gary and Chicken Gary Florentine
- 6 medium sized chicken breasts, cut horizontally through the middle to make 12 thin breasts, or cut vertically into 3/4″ strips (julienne), or you can also use chicken tenders, tendons removed
- 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- 7 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2/3 cup flour or all purpose gluten-free flour
- salt, pepper
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/3 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (24 month aged parmesan)
- nutmeg and paprika (optional)
- 8 ounces spinach, steamed, squeezed dry, and coarsely chopped
You will need two 3 quart au gratins or pyrex casseroles. Spread the spinach on the bottom of one of the casseroles.
Sauté the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of butter until a little brown and set aside.
Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet. Spread the flour on a large plate. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, then dip them in the butter and lay them in the casseroles.
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Pour one cup of the heavy cream over each casserole.
Very lightly sprinkle some nutmeg over the cream in the casserole with the spinach.
Sprinkle half of the cheese over each casserole.
Lightly sprinkle paprika of the cheese and cream in the casserole without the spinach.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes.
This dish was originally served over rice. For paleo, try roasted sweet potatoes (recipe below).
For roasted orange and white sweet potatoes, cut 2 large sweet potatoes in 3/4″ pieces and spread out on a large baking sheet lined with parchment. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of avocado oil, sprinkle with salt, mix to coat then spread the pieces back out. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 35 minutes, stirring half way through.