Monday, July 23, 2012

Chicken Piccata Time!

Chicken Picatta is one of my favorite dishes, which is why I decided to make it myself. I started with this recipe:

Of course, I'm me, so I only use recipes as a jumping board, in the best of times. Here are the ingredients:

Except the Mio. That had nothing to do with it.

2-4 Chicken breasts
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/3 cup wine
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1-2 cloves of Garlic
1/4 cup Capers (in brine)
Some Chopped Parsley

Okay, these were most of the ingredients. Until I got all indignant about the lack of garlic. There are some recipes that call for garlic, but this one didn't. As a lover of garlic, I decided to throw some in. And I nixed the Parmesan because my dad doesn't like it so much. You gotta play to type, kids.

What I usually do first is a little prep work. Chop the parsley, juice the lemon(s), uncork the wine, and then prep the chicken.

This made me feel like a Spanish Inquisitor.

So exciting.

So let's get the cooking started. I didn't even have any during-cooking wine. What was I thinking? If you replicate the process, make sure to add wine to yourself. Because, why not? After that, butterfly your chicken in half. This should yield 4-8 little cutlets. I had 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, so I got 6 thin cutlets.

Then, mix flour, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. It might be cool to play around with other spices. Maybe throw some dried parsley in there. Some cayenne if you're feeling spicy.

Rinse your cutlets and dredge them in the flour mixture. You want a nice, thin coating. The water will help it stick. You can also use some beaten egg to the same effect.

No idea why I went for the weird angle here. Awkward.
Let your watered and floured chicken breasts hang out on the cutting board for a minute. 

Heat up a large frying pan, on medium high heat, with 3 or 4 Tbsp of olive oil and 2 Tbsp of butter. I ran out of regular olive oil, so had to substitute in like a tablespoon of garlic-infused olive oil. No harm, no foul.

Once the oil is nice and hot, place your chicken breasts in there. I fit about three in at a time, don't wanna squeeze them in and make them uncomfortable. 

Fry the breasts, about three minutes to each side, until both sides are a light, golden brown. Cut a tiny slit in one of the breasts, or, if you're me, hack one of the breasts into pieces, to make sure the chicken is cooked through. You cannot serve chicken rare. That would be bad.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside. I guess you can wrap it in foil if you're worried about super-hot food. I didn't bother.

If there's oil left in the pan, no worries, don't rinse that out. It just adds to the sauce. Add your wine, lemon juice, finely chopped garlic, and capers to the pan. It will steam a bit when you add the wine. Not a problem. Stir all this together, scraping up any fried bits on the bottom of the pan. 

This would be a great time to remember that dinner is usually more than an entree. Quick boil some water and toss some angel hair in there to cook down right quick.

After about five minutes, the sauce will have reduced a bit, add the rest of the butter (2 Tbsp) and stir as it melts in. And that's it. I could have used more sauce, to be honest. I'd probably double down on that part of the recipe. The amount was a little light for 3 breasts, in no way would have been good for 6.

Plate up! I put a little pasta down, then a chicken breast, drizzled some sauce on top, then cheaped out and threw some baby cut carrots on the top. Last minute, I threw some parsley on top. Voila!

And "Boom," goes the dynamite.


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