Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chicken Piccata

I was...sort of limited with the ingredients at my house, given I bought the very last package of chicken available at Soviet Safeway.  It was this:

I decided to try to make chicken piccata, throwing together all of the appropriate dried herbs that I had in my pantry.  All told, the meal worked out incredibly well.

Click below for the recipe!
List of ingredients:
4 chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/4"
9 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil 
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme 
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano 
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning 
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cups lemon juice
1 cup chicken broth
9 oz. fresh egg fettuccine

I've never worked with these pre-marinated chicken breasts before, but thought it couldn't go too badly (they are very small, though, so if you are using regular chicken breasts, I would use two, butterfly them, then cut them in half).  Since they were individually pre-packaged, it made pounding them to about 1/4" easy (usually I put each breast between two sheets of plastic wrap while pounding).  I just left them in their individual packaging and gently pounded each breast with the flat side of my meat hammer (is that what it's really called?) until it was about 1/4". 

I then mixed together in a large Tupperware container 6 tablespoons flour, the basil, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, and black pepper. 

I put each breast in the container, covered, shook, and voila!  Dredged.

Next, I heated 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Once the fats started to pop a little, I added 2 of the breasts and browned them, about 3 minutes per side, then removed them to a plate.   I then repeated with the remaining chicken, adding 2 more tablespoons of butter and 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. 

I added 2/3 cup lemon juice and 1 cup chicken stock to the pan, bringing to a boil, and making sure to get all the browned bits up off the bottom of the pan (adds a ton a flavor to the sauce).  Usually I add about a 1/4 cup of capers at this point, but...uh, snowpocalypse.  No capers for me.  I also sprinkled about 3 tablespoons of flour over the top, whisking constantly, in order to thicken the mixture.  I use a flat whisk for making sauces, it's very handy.

I returned the chicken to the pan and simmered about 5 minutes.

Then I removed the chicken to the serving platter and added 2 more tablespoons of butter and a sprinkling more of flour (about 1/2 tablespoon) to the pan and whisked until the sauce was thick enough to really stick to the fresh egg pasta I had cooked.  I served the chicken over the pasta and ladled the sauce over the top (I also usually top the dish with fresh parsley, but again, I was working with what I had available).

Both Mark and I loved this dish.  It's super quick and delicious (with tender and juicy white meat chicken, which almost never happens - the secret is the pounding, breading, and quick frying), and the thick, almost gravy-like lemony and buttery sauce is heaven.  And it provided a nice change from all the Filipino comfort food we've been eating over here for the last few days!

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