Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

This is a recipe I knew before I met Heather and, had she not been a strict vegetarian at the time, one that I no doubt would have made to woo her. It’s delicious, impressive, and very easy to prepare. If you make this for the lady or gentleman of your fancy, it could very well result in after dinner sexytimes. I make no promises, but your odds are definitely improved.

In the past, I have enjoyed this dish on a bed or angel hair pasta (with a simple garlic butter sauce), but it plays well with a myriad sides. Last night, I served it with my roasted broccoli, but it also goes very well with roasted  brussels sprouts, steamed or sautéed green beans, peas, mashed potatoes, or any combination thereof. Note that I have made the recipe for two, but it scales up perfectly to serve however many people you prefer.

Chicken Piccata

Active time: 20 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes | Serves: 2

Ingredients

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, halved horizontally (to make two thinner fillets)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

salt and fresh ground pepper

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)

2 1/2 tablespoons brined capers, rinsed and drained

2 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (this is mostly garnish, so chop more or less to taste)

Instructions

  1. Season the chicken filets with salt and pepper (both sides) and dredge them in flour. Shake them off, but don’t go nuts; that extra flour will come in handy later when you scrape the pan to make the sauce.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of butter and 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When it starts to sizzle, add the chicken, cooking each side for about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers. Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping the pan to get all of those nice, flavorful brown crispy bits. Put the chicken back in the pan, then reduce the heat and let everything simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. By now the chicken should be a nice golden brown and everything should smell capery and buttery and awesome. Plate the chicken, then add the remaining butter to the pan. Scrape it around again and whisk everything together until it begins to thicken. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle the parsley on top, and serve.

Notes

  • Get the most juice from your lemon by microwaving it for about 20 seconds. Then, roll it on the counter until it is noticeably softer. This helps burst the the little juice cells inside which makes the juicing easier and yields the most liquid.
  • You a regular skillet (vs. non-stick). Otherwise, you won’t get those brown crispy bits that add extra flavor. Don’t worry; because of the oil and butter, the meat sticking to the pan is not an issue.
  • Because we’re dealing with hot oil, butter, and chicken juices, I like to use a splatter screen. Of course this is totally optional, but I am a kitchen neatnik and mine has served me very well.
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