Thursday, April 2, 2009
I bought chicken breasts this week with a plan. But as the week wore on, a serious craving for chicken piccata began to set in, and the other plan was tossed aside. The piccata was just too powerful.
Chicken piccata is a very reliable dish to order in just about any Italian restaurant, as it's pretty hard to screw up. Some places put a bread crumb batter and then pan fry it, which makes it a bit too heavy in my opinion. The perfect piccata should be gently dredged in flour (preferably whole wheat!) and then sauteed in a relatively modest amount of extra virgin olive oil and butter. Then you can make a beautiful pan sauce that is tangy, light, and buttery all at the same time. It's a beautiful thing.
We had ours with some fresh spinach sauteed in wine and garlic. It was a pretty fantastic meal, for something I threw together in about 15 minutes. Yes, I dare to toot my own culinary horn.
adapted from Giada de Laurentiis' Everyday Italian
1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast, butterflied and then halved
pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
a few tablespoons of flour, for dredging
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon EVOO
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, and lightly dredge in flour, shaking off the excess.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the tablespoon of EVOO in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted and sizzling, add the chicken. Cook just until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove chicken with tongs and set aside on a plate.
3. Add broth, wine, lemon juice and capers to the pan, whisking to incorporate the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil (if it isn't already boiling), and then add the chicken to the sauce and simmer until just cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.
4. Using tongs, transfer chicken to serving plates. Add remaining tablespoon of butter to the skillet and whisk until melted and incorporated in the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken, and garnish with parsley.
You can always count on Italian food to satisfy. This would also be great with pasta, or any roasted veggie. Enjoy!