Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chicken piccata

Things I've been doing these days (other than cooking as much as I should)

  • Watching live music that literally sent goosebumps up/down my entire body
Puscifer @ the Cadillac Palace
(photo taken from their Facebook page)
  • Being thankful that I'm back in Chicago and get to spend the holidays with the family
  • Buying funky shoes that make me happy
  • Folding books for a wall-art project in my apartment

Needless to say, I've had quite a fun month. But cooking hasn't been a huge part of that time. I don't know why the cooking bug just hasn't completely set in yet. I've been getting inspired in spurts, but nothing consistent and long-lasting. Being fed by my family and having more of a social life since my move to the city has meant a lot less time meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking for me. But once in a while I'll be inspired and cook a fun meal. 

Like this chicken piccata. 

Don't you just love lemons?!? I'm a weirdo and have an excessive fondness of lemons. Particularly in my sweet creations, but also in my savories.

Pair up some capers with those lemons and this girl is a happy camper. If you're not a fan of super briney capers, do what I do and soak 'em in some warm water at least 30 minutes before you're gonna cook them. Definitely helps get rid of that excess salt they carry.

Small capers pack a big flavor punch

Serve with a bed of fresh pasta (not my creation) and this meal could not be more awesome.

Fancy comfort food at its finest

Yours in experiencing life to the fullest, inside and outside of the kitchen,

Chicken Piccata, slightly adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Note: For someone who loves lemon I was surprised that this dish was almost too lemony for me. So I'm leaving the amounts here as-written from CI, but suggesting that you add the lemon juice at the end to taste.

2 large lemons
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), dried thoroughly, trimmed of excess fat, and sliced in half (~3/8 - 1/2" thick)
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons) or 1 small garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons small capers , drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, set large heatproof plate on rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Halve one lemon pole to pole. Trim ends from one half and cut crosswise into slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick; set aside. Juice remaining half and whole lemon to obtain 1/4 cup juice; reserve.
3. Sprinkle both sides of cutlets generously with salt and pepper. Measure flour into pie tin or shallow baking dish. Working one cutlet at a time, coat with flour, and shake to remove excess. 
4. Heat heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes; add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl pan to coat. Lay half of chicken pieces in skillet. Sauté cutlets, without moving them, until lightly browned on first side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Turn cutlets and cook until second side is lightly browned, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and transfer cutlets to plate in oven. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to now-empty skillet and heat until shimmering. Add remaining chicken pieces and repeat.
5. Add shallot or garlic to now-empty skillet and return skillet to medium heat. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds for shallot or 10 seconds for garlic. Add stock increase heat to high, and scrape skillet bottom with wooden spoon or spatula to loosen browned bits. Simmer until liquid reduces to about 1/3 cup, about 4-6 minutes. After 3-4 minutes of simmering, add the lemon slices to the broth.
6. After the broth has reduced, add the lemon juice (to taste!) and capers and simmer until sauce reduces again to 1/3 cup, at least 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and swirl in butter until butter melts and thickens sauce; swirl in parsley. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately.
Note: The full 1/4 cup lemon juice might be too much for some people. So I'd suggest adding a TBSP or so at a time until you're happy with the citrus levels.


Renata said...

Hi Jacqueline!
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving all those really helpful tips on the cake, I really appreciate it, and I will definitely try them the next time I make it.
And about your chicken Piccata, I do love lemons too and I'm sure I would love this dish, specially because I also enjoy capers immensely.
BTW, LOVE your book project!

Post a Comment