Chicken and Spinach in Creamy Paprika Sauce is an easy to make one-pan dish that is amazing in flavor from dry white wine and sauteed garlic. The delicious paprika sauce is creamy and buttery, with a mild tang from the fresh lemon juice.
Creamy paprika sauce for chicken
Chicken is generously seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika and then sauteed with butter until golden brown. The delicious creamy sauce is simple and easy to make: garlic is sauteed in butter, then wine, broth, cream, juice of a fresh lemon and paprika are all added to make this creamy paprika sauce.
Flour is used to thicken it a bit, but can be omitted if gluten free. Chicken and spinach go very well together with the paprika flavor here.
What wine to use in this paprika chicken and spinach dish
Any dry white wine that you like can be used: Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay or Riesling are all good choices. They will produce an excellent flavor for the sauce.
When cooking with wine, never use “cooking wine”. Cooking with a regular drinking wine will always give you a better tasting dish because the quality is much higher.
Non-Alcoholic wine substitutions
- White Wine Vinegar: This is an ideal substitute for dry white wine. Made from white wine, it has many of the same flavor characteristics, minus the alcohol. In this recipe use half of what the wine portion calls for and substitute the remainder with chicken stock: 1/4 cup vinegar + 1/4 cup chicken stock.
- Rice Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar work too in the same proportion as White Wine Vinegar.
- Chicken or vegetable stock: Substitute stock for white wine entirely if not a fan of vinegar or sensitive to sulfites in vinegar. We are already using lemon in this chicken and spinach dish, adding slightly more would compensate for the loss of flavor from not using wine.
What kind of skillet to use for chicken and spinach in creamy paprika sauce
Make sure to use a good heavy skillet here, such as cast iron and make sure it’s a large one too. I used 12 inch Lodge Pro-Logic Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet in this recipe – it’s well designed, has a helper handle and sloped sides – very sleek looking for cast iron!
I have other cast iron skillets, but prefer this one due to its size (it’s very large with even more space due to its sloped sides), it also never sticks or leaves weird black dots on meat like other cast iron skillets do. And it’s one of my most used kitchen tools!
Chicken and Spinach in Creamy Paprika Sauce is an amazing one-pan dish with an amazing flavor from white wine and mild tang from the fresh lemon juice.
- 4 Chicken Breasts (boneless & skinless)
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika (for seasoning chicken)
- 1/4 tsp Salt and Pepper (each for seasoning chicken)
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp flour sifted
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 lemon (juice of squeezed lemon)
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp paprika
Cooking Chicken: Season the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika, rubbing it evenly over both sides.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet (I used cast iron skillet) over medium high heat and cook on the first side for about 3 minutes. Flip, and turn the heat down to medium and cook for another three minutes. Remove and set chicken aside on separate plate.
Making Creamy Sauce: Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the now empty skillet. Add garlic and cook stirring frequently about 2 minutes. Add flour using a sifter until well mixed. Add wine next and cook for 1-2 minutes to allow alcohol to evaporate.
Stir in chicken broth, heavy cream and lemon juice. Add salt and paprika. Mix well. Simmer for 2 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning (if necessary) at this point.
Spinach: Add in the spinach and cook for additional 2 minutes until the spinach has wilted
Adding Chicken Back: Return the chicken to the skillet and reheat for 2-3 minutes spooning the sauce over the chicken.