I’ve been promising this recipe for some time now, so I’m finally making good on my promise!
Italian food is probably my specialty. I’ve been accused of having Italian blood running thru my veins, but nope, nada, not a drop (unless someone isn’t telling me something I should know!). And, Chicken Piccata is one of my favorite go to dishes, especially when I’m in a hurry and want something just a little elegant and indulgent.
I’ve altered the traditional recipe my slicing the chicken breasts in half horizontally instead of pounding the chicken breasts with a meat mallet to thin them. I guess I just got tired of salmonella ridden chicken juice splashing all over my kitchen and my clothes. I tried encapsulating the breast between two layers of press and seal plastic wrap. That didn’t work. Then I tried a plastic zip bag. Nope! I always seem to break the wrap or bag and somehow I managed to pound the breast too thin in places, rendering little chicken bits and pieces. I think I was using the whole experience as some kind of cathartic stress release because it got way out of hand.
Anyways, the best way for me is to slice. I’ll give you a few tips to help with the process and to keep all fingers in tact. It’s easier to slice a partially frozen chicken breast. Now, I don’t mean still frozen to the point where it’s hard and has an ice haze on the outside. Defrost it to the point where only the middle is still just a little frozen. Place the breast on a cutting board, place a flat palm on top and slice thru horizontally from one end to the other. If you’re working with a really thick breast, you should be able to get three thin slices or scallopini.
Another important tip is to dredge the chicken in flour and shake off the excess just before putting it in the hot butter and oil combo. If you dredge beforehand, the moisture in the chicken will make for a gummy coating of flour that’s not too pleasant. This tip goes for any protein your dredging.
Sometimes I serve with a side of pasta, sometimes a green veggie. It just depends on my mood. The lemon slices are optional, too.
Well, after all that, here’s the recipe! Arrivederci, baby! And, as always, happy cooking!
This is a traditional chicken piccata recipe. The lemony, salty taste is addictive! Use fresh lemons for the best taste.
Yield: 4 servings
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice (approximately 2 lemons, juiced)
½ cup dry white wine (chardonnay, pinot grigio)
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup brined capers, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lemons, thinly sliced for garnish
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Garnish with a little lemon zest too, if desired!
- Place chicken breasts on a cutting board and slice horizontally with a sharp knife to form two thin cutlets.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, just before frying and shake off excess.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When the butter and oil are heated, add four cutlets and cook 3 minutes.
- When chicken is browned, flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes.
- Remove to a plate and keep warm.
- Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter and the rest of the olive oil to the pan and repeat with remaining cutlets.
- Add the lemon juice, wine, chicken stock, capers and garlic to the hot pan to deglaze.
- Return to a boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check seasoning.
- Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes or until cooked thru.
- Remove chicken to serving platter.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the sauce in the skillet and whisk vigorously.
- Nestle the lemon slices into the sauce and cook 1 minute more. Pour the sauce over the chicken, arranging the lemon slices evenly.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with hot angel hair, linguine or green vegetable of your choice.