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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chicken Piccata

My neighbors returned from a vacation on the cape with a couple of Cape-themed treats for Gus.
How cute is this lighthouse??!!  They also brought him a lobster-shaped treat, so cute and eagerly devoured.  I'm inspired now.  I want to make and decorate adorable doggy cookies.  One more thing to add to my never-ending to-do list.

In the meantime, I'll continue cooking family favorites, like the Chicken Piccata in this blogpost.

Today's Playlist
  • "The Sheik of Napoli".......Lou Monte
  • "That's Amore"......Dean Martin
  • "Lean On Me".......Al Jarreau
  • "Jump In The Line".....Harry Belafonte
  • "In The Mood".........Glenn Miller
  • "Little Bitty Pretty One"....Bobby Day
  • "You Make Me Feel So Young".....Frank Sinatra
  • "Mambo Italiano"......Rosemary Clooney
  • Under My Skin".....Bobby Caldwell
  • "Come Go With Me".....The Del Vikings

Chicken Piccata
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins, or thin-sliced chicken cutlets, or boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4" thickness
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup capers, drained
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • optional: 1 lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish
Gather your ingredients.

No, you're not seeing things.  I ran out of olive oil and substituted canola oil.  I don't know what happened.  Brain lapse.  Up until this week, I would have declared that olive oil is the one staple that you can always find in my pantry.

I'm so out of sorts over this that I've bought two bottles of olive oil in the last three days.  Just in case.  I bought the first bottle because I needed it, and today I bought another bottle so I'll have a backup for when the as-yet-to-be-opened first bottle runs out.

Now, back to our recipe.

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish.

Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture.  One side......

......then the other.

(You can see that I'm using tenderloins.  I've listed several choices of boneless chicken for you in the recipe above.  You should use whichever you prefer, just make sure that the pieces are uniform in size so they will cook evenly and equally, perfectly and precisely, magically and magnificently, temptingly and tantalizingly.  Uh-oh, better dial down the flamboyance of my adverbs.)

Then place the chicken on a plate, until you've dredged 'em all.


You'll be left with lots of extra flour to throw away.  It seems like a waste, but it's easier to work in a pile of flour that is more than you need,  than to use the exact amount needed.
Juice your lemon.  I forgot to take a picture of the lemon as it was being juiced.  Here is the finished product, about 1/4 cup of lemon juice.

If you need to see a picture of a lemon as it is being juiced,
refer to this photo, with the bald, zested lemon from my Lemon-Blueberry-Cornmeal Scones post from a few months ago.

Chop the parsley.

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat.

Add the chicken.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

You'll know when to flip them when they start to look cooked around the edges.

Flip 'em and cook the other side.

Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the lemon juice to the pan.  This will quickly deglaze your pan.

Add the chicken broth.  Stir until all the browned bits are loosened from the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. 

(Usually, the bits of flour that fall off the chicken onto the bottom of the pan help to thicken up the sauce.  If you feel that the sauce hasn't thickened enough, combine 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of chicken broth (or water) and stir it into the sauce.)

Return the chicken to the skillet.  Top with the capers, sprinkle with the parsley.  Cook for a few minutes until it's completely heated through.

(Optional:  garnish with lemon slices.  I omitted this part.)

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