Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

The series of posts Eat Out at Home continues with this recipe for Chicken Piccata, a dish readily found in most any Italian restaurant.  Since I had a package of chicken cutlets to use I was torn between making Chicken Parmesan or Chicken Piccata.  Somehow the Parmesan recipe seemed a little heavy and more suited to cold weather, so this one won out,  since the light lemony sauce of this recipe seems to go with spring.

This recipe is quite simple to make and takes very little time.  It requires only  basic cooking skills, so even if you’re a newcomer in the kitchen, you will be successful.  Preparing the chicken cutlets ahead of time is a time saver. You can pound them out and dredge in flour in advance, then refrigerate them till its time to cook the meal.  Because cutlets are lean and cook in just a few minutes, they produce  very little drippings to use in a sauce, so dredging in flour first, then cooking them will help them to brown and  the flour acts as an emulsifier to slightly thicken the sauce.  The addition of lemon, white wine, chicken broth and capers creates the classic piccata flavors.   Knowing how to make this dish assures you of success when serving guests, since many people know about this entree, but are unaware of how easy it is to make.

A common way to serve chicken piccata is with pasta.  Linguine is a good choice as it will get coated by the sauce.  In my version I added some baby spinach to my nearly cooked pasta in the last minute of cooking,  just so it got a little wilted .  Drain the pasta/spinach combo, place in a large bowl or serving dish and place the chicken cutlets with their sauce poured over the top.   Molto Delicioso!

Chicken with its sauce poured over pasta with spinach.

Chicken with its sauce poured over pasta with spinach.

CHICKEN PICCATA

Makes  4 servings.   Increase all quantities accordingly to make more servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise and pounded into cutlets.  (I was able to purchase a package of 4 chicken cutlets ready for use at the supermarket.)
  • salt and pepper

    Chicken cutlets, white wine, lemon, garlic and capers produce the classic flavors of this dish.

    Chicken cutlets, white wine, lemon, garlic and capers produce the classic flavors of this dish.

  • all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. drained capers
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • fresh lemon slices
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish

1.   Season cutlets with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.  Add oil to a sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat.

2.  Saute cutlets 2 – 3 minutes on one side.  Turn cutlets oven and cook the other side, covered,  1 – 2 minutes.  Transfer cutlets to a warmed platter and keep warm.  Pour off any fat from the pan.

Browning the cutlets.

Browning the cutlets.

3.  Deglaze the pan with wine and add minced garlic.  Cook until garlic is slightly brown and liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with wine and garlic.

Deglaze the pan with wine and garlic.

4.  Add broth, lemon juice, and capers.  Return cutlets to pan and cook on each side for 1 minute.  Transfer cutlets to serving dish.

5.  Finish sauce with butter and lemons.  Once butter melts, pour sauce over cutlets.

Finishing the sauce with butter and lemons.

Finishing the sauce with butter and lemons.

6.  Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Chicken Piccata served with pasta and spinach.

Chicken Piccata served with pasta and spinach.

SOURCE:    CUISINE at Home

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Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

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Shrimp Scampi over linguine is one of those meals that is quick and easy to put together and most everyone likes it.  I’ve eaten it in restaurants many times and sometimes it is well seasoned and balanced but I’ve also had it when the philosophy  of the restaurant seemed to be ” the more garlic there is, the better”.   WRONG!   This dish is not about how much garlic you throw on some shrimp and linguine and then serve it swimming in clam broth.  It is about the blending of flavors that include shrimp, cooked just until pink, with a light touch of garlic, lemon juice, butter, olive oil, and parsley.  Serve over linguine with a good quality Parmesan cheese grated over the top and you have a dish that tells you it’s right after the first bite, when you sigh and say, Ahhhh, good.

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This is actually a quick pantry meal, if you keep frozen shrimp in the freezer.  In addition to the shrimp you will need a package of linguine or thin spaghetti, a lemon, butter, olive oil, 2-3 cloves of garlic, and fresh flat leaf parsley.

SHRIMP SCAMPI WITH LINGUINE

EVERYDAY ITALIAN, Giada DiLaurentis

 A few simple ingredients is all  you need.

A few simple ingredients is all you need.

4-6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound linguine
  • 1 pound medium – large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive oil,
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • pepper to taste
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Parmesan cheese to grate at the table

DIRECTIONS

1.  For the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

2.  Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, warm the olive oil with the butter over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Saute garlic in butter and olive oil.

Saute garlic in butter and olive oil.

Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp and cook until they are just pink.

Add the shrimp and cook until they are just pink.

Add the salt and pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, and parsley.  Toss to combine.

Add salt and pepper, lemon juice and parsley.

Add salt and pepper, lemon juice and parsley.

Turn off the heat and add the drained linguine, plus some pasta water; enough to make a loose consistency, but not too juicy.

Add drained pasta and toss to coat.

Add drained pasta and toss to coat.

3.  Toss again to coat the pasta with the sauce.  Serve immediately, with parmesan cheese to grate onto each serving at the table.

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese over the top.

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese over the top.