This Month's Recipe is From Firefighter Jim Malizia in Hartford, Connecticut!!!

Jim Malizia of Hartford Connecticut, says this classic is perfect anytime of the year, and I would agree. Serve it with any type of hot rice and lots of French or Italian Bread. It makes a few extra dirty dishes, but the delicious payoff is worth it. Thanks to Jim, now anyone who has had this dish, and loved it, in a restaurant can now make it at home.

Big House Chicken Française

2      cups flour
1/2   teaspoon salt
1    teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
6    eggs
1/2   cup sour cream
1/4   cup minced parsley, divided
1/2   cup, plus 2 tablespoons butter
1/4   cup extra virgin olive oil
6    pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1    cup white cooking wine
1/4   cup lemon juice
3    pounds fresh spinach, trimmed of stems
1/2   cup minced fresh garlic
1    pound Colby or Jack cheese, grated
    • Preheat the oven to 400°, and lightly butter a large casserole dish.
    • In a large bowl, combine the flour with the salt and pepper.
    • In another large bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream, and 1/8 cup of the parsley.
    • In a large frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, over a medium-high flame.
    • Place each chicken breast first in the flour mixture, patting the chicken to cover completely.
    • Next, dip each chicken breast into the egg mixture, and carefully place into the hot butter/oil mixture.
    • Carefully sauté the chicken breasts for about 4-6 minutes per side, or until golden brown and just cooked through.
    • Do not over-crowd the pan, sauté the chicken in batches of 4-6 and add a little more oil/butter as necessary. Set the cooked chicken breasts aside on a large plate.
    • When all the chicken breasts have been cooked, increase the heat to high and add the white wine.
    • Cook, stirring constantly, to dissolve all the tasty bits in the pan.
    • Reduce heat to medium-high, and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until reduced by half.
    • Reduce heat to medium, add the lemon juice, and the remaining parsley and butter.
    • Cook for about 2 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and set aside.
    • In a large sauce pan, heat the remaining olive oil over a medium-high flame.
    • Add the garlic, and sauté until tender and just beginning to turn golden brown.
    • Add the spinach and cook, tossing constantly, until just wilted. Do not overcook.
    • In the bottom of the prepared casserole dish, arrange the spinach in an even layer.
    • Arrange the cooked chicken breasts on top of the spinach.
    • Sprinkle each chicken breast with some of the grated cheese.
    • Bake uncovered, at 400 degrees until the cheese has melted and is hot throughout.
    • Pour the wine/lemon juice mixture evenly over each breast.
    • Serve immediately.
    • Serves: 10-12 people or 6-8 hungry firefighters

    Jim’s Roll Call = I have been a Hartford firefighter for nine years. In a previous job, I worked as a chef in an Italian restaurant. This made me a "wanted probee" when I came out of drill school.  I ended up at this firehouse (Engine 2/Ladder 3) and have been here ever since.  Eating like this “on the job” makes all the wives jealous. PS Hello to my sous chefs at home, Jimmy, Jack, Josh, & Abigail.

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    On a personal note: I am humbled by Jim's culinary talents, and appreciate him for getting me off my ass.

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