Chicken piccata always ends up being my second choice when it is on the menu at a restaurant. I have good intentions, but just never end up ordering it. Something about capers I think. They are one of those foods that I feel like I’m supposed to like, but have never really fully joined the bandwagon. I feel the same way about pesto. I try it all the time, and it’s always just ok. “Fine” and “ok” don’t cut it when I’m paying for a meal. I hate wasting a dinner out on food I’m not going to be in love with. So, the piccata always takes a back seat. I decided to make some myself to verify the caper conundrum. Do I like them? Or not? I found this recipe on my cousin’s blog and since she LOVES chicken piccata, I figured if any recipe was gonna float my boat, this one would. I was right. It was excellent. Capers and all.
Make sure you do all your prep work before starting on the chicken. Cut up the shallot and garlic. Juice and slice the lemons. Drain the capers and measure out the stock. Then get your chicken pounded, dredged and fried. It will be far easier to manage if everything is all ready for you and there’s just the matter of throwing it in the pan.
This chicken is full of flavor from the lemons with a gorgeous sauce that I soaked up with some pasta. It is delicious.
Maybe next time I’m out I’ll order the piccata. Who am I kidding? I’ll just make it myself if I get a hankerin’. I’m sure this is better than I’ll ever get at my local Italian joint. Enjoy!
from Rumbly in my Tumbly
• 2 large lemons
• 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
• Salt and ground black pepper
• 1/2cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 small shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
• 1 small garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
• 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
• 2 tablespoons small capers , drained
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
1. Halve one lemon. Cut half of one of the lemons into slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick; set aside. Juice remaining half and whole lemon to obtain 1/4 cup juice; reserve. Mince shallot and garlic.
2. Pound out chicken breasts into thin cutlets. I cut mine in half horizontally and then pound them. It’s easier if they’re already half as thick. Sprinkle both sides of cutlets generously with salt and pepper. Measure flour into pie tin or shallow baking dish.
3. Heat heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes; add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl pan to coat.
4. Working one cutlet at a time, coat with flour, and shake to remove excess.
5. Lay chicken pieces in skillet. Sauté cutlets, without moving them, until lightly browned on first side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. ‘
6. Turn cutlets and cook until second side is lightly browned, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes longer.
7. Remove pan from heat and transfer cutlets to plate. Add shallot and garlic to now-empty skillet and return skillet to medium heat. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds for shallot or 10 seconds for garlic.
8. Now, deglaze the pan by adding stock and lemon slices, increase heat to high, and scrape skillet bottom with wooden spoon or spatula to loosen browned bits.
9. Simmer until liquid reduces to about 1/3 cup, about 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and capers and simmer until sauce reduces again to 1/3 cup, about 1 minute.
10. Remove pan from heat and swirl in butter until butter melts and thickens sauce; Add chicken back to the pan. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately.