Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chicken Piccata

Well I'm back from all my traveling, for a bit anyway. Despite my being jet-lagged from 2 trips back east in 11 days we needed dinner last night. When the sis and I are both exhausted, dinner always becomes a fruitless discussion, neither of us cares and neither wants to decide what we'll have. Even though I cooked a bit this past weekend, mostly breakfasts for the boyfriend's big birthday weekend, I was itching to get back into my fabulous kitchen. I was going to go for an old faithful, Pesto Chicken (which I promise to post sometime soon, it's really great and easy) but we eat that all the time I felt I should do something different. So to switch it up I decided on Chicken Piccata, something that used to be a standby for me, but I haven't made in awhile. Giada De Laurentiis is one of my top cooks on the Food Network, mostly because she uses such simple and classic Italian flavors. Her Chicken Piccata recipe is great! Take a look:

Chicken Piccata
from Giada DeLaurentiis on the Food Network

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (I like to squeeze my own lemons and it usually takes 2-3)
1/2 cup chicken stock (if I don't have chicken stock I have subbed white wine for this and it makes a really great and tangy sauce)
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped (I forgot to pick-up parsley so I left this out) 1/2 lemon thinly sliced (this I my own addition)

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes.
3. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate.
4. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.
5. Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers and lemon slices. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning.
6. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter.
7. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

I usually serve this dish with a nice green vegetable like oven roasted asparagus or garlicky green beans, but last night the easiest thing was a caprese salad with fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!

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