Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chicken Piccata

This is really the most basic version of this technique where you pound the meat, dredge it in some flour and saute it.  As with many things in life, basic/simple means GOOD.

2-3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 C flour (S&P to taste)

2 TB Olive Oil
2 TB butter (plus 1/2 TB to swirl in at the end)

1 tsp minced garlic (shallots are nice too if you have 'em)
2-3 lemons, juiced
1 Cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio is my usual)
1/4 C capers (drained)
sliced mushrooms (optional)

Pound your chicken between two sheets of waxed paper until they're an even thickness (maybe 1/4 inch?)
In a shallow bowl or pie plate, mix the flour, salt & pepper (use more S&P than you'd think).  Lightly coat the chicken in the flour mixture.

Place a large skillet over med-high heat and melt together your butter & olive oil.   When it's shimmering, gently place the chicken, one piece at a time, into the hot oil.  Be careful not to crowd the pan.  It is FINE to work in batches.  Cook 4-5 minutes per side, turning once. 

Remove chicken to a plate padded with several paper towels and then drain off all but a tablespoon or so of the fat & drippings.  To this add the mushrooms (if using) give it about 30 seconds to cool off the pan a bit then add the garlic.  Saute for about 10 minutes (the mushrooms will release all their moisture and pick up the flavor of the bits of yummy chicken that were stuck to the pan).  Then add in the lemon juice and capers, heating through.  If you happen to be drinking a glass of white wine, now would be a great time to splash a good bit of that in there too.  Allow it to cook together for a couple of minutes to reduce a bit and get some of the acid/alcohol out.  Then take your chicken and put it back into the sauce for about 1 minute per side.  This will reheat the chicken and allow some of that flour coating to help thicken your sauce.  Remove the chicken and add another small knob of cold butter and swirl into the sauce.

Place the chicken over pasta or sauteed spinach, top with sauce and serve.

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