January 14, 2013

Chicken Piccata



As I learn more about cooking, I'm also realizing that I gravitate towards certain kinds of flavours. I'm not one for spice, but I realize that spice-less does not have to mean taste-less. Lemon is one of my favourite flavours to cook with (as shown here and here). It's a bright flavour that can take a regular dish to the next level. Too much lemon though can easily overpower a dish so less is more, especially with this recipe. It won't look like you have a lot of sauce once it's reduced down, but it's intense and a little goes a long way.

I also try to cook with fresh ingredients as much as possible, but on the occasion that I have turned to bottled lemon juice (unless called for) the flavour simply doesn't compare with fresh.

From a preparation perspective, I finally got a reamer and it made juicing the lemons a million times easier, plus I got more juice than the good ol' hand squeeze method I was using.

Chicken Piccata
Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 split (2 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons room-temperature butter
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), with lemon halves reserved
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • sliced lemon, for serving
  • chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving

Directions
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking tray with parchment paper
  • Pound out each chicken breast to 1/4" thickness (it will be so tender!) and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper
  • Take three shallow bowls and put flour in one, eggs beaten in another and Panko bread crumbs in the third. Take each chicken breast and coating first in the flour, shaking off the excess, next dip in the egg and finally coat with the bread crumbs. Lay flat on the baking.
  • Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add two chicken breasts and cook for two minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan while you cook the rest of the chicken. Heat more olive oil in the saute pan and cook the second two chicken breasts. Place them on the same sheet pan and cook for 10 minutes in the oven while you make the sauce.
  • For the sauce, wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. On medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter and then add the lemon juice, wine, reserved lemon halves and salt and pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced by half, about two minutes. Off the heat, discard the lemon halves and add two more tablespoons of butter and swirl to combine. 
  • Serve one chicken breast on each plate, spoon on the sauce and serve with sliced lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.
Recipe from The Barefoot Contessa at Home

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