Chicken Piccata

I originally discovered this dish in culinary school. The word piccata is Italian and comes from a translation of the French word piqué. When used in reference to a way of preparing food, particularly meat or fish, it means “sliced, sautéed, and served in a sauce containing lemon, butter and spices”. By my estimate, anything sautéed in lemon and butter is a dish I want to experience. The addition of capers in this dish plays to my love of all things pickled in a brine. In Italy, piccata is normally served as a veal dish and I would love to try that someday, in Italy preferably. But as we often do, the citizens of this lovely country have “Americanized” the dish to use chicken.

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Sautéing the chicken to a golden brown is the key to a great base flavor before adding the sauce.

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It is common to serve chicken piccata over spaghetti noodles. The buttery, lemon sauce covering the noodles is pasta heaven!

 

Chicken Piccata

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Preparation:

  1. Cut chicken breasts in half.
  2. Pound pieces of chicken to about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, and dredge both sides of chicken in flour. Shake off the excess flour.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and oil in a large skillet.
  5. Fry chicken breasts in hot oil, about 5 minutes each side, until cooked through and golden brown.
  6. Transfer chicken breasts to a plate.
  7. Add the remaining butter to the skillet, add garlic and capers.
  8. Add lemon juice, wine and chicken broth to deglaze the pan.
  9. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
  10. Return chicken breasts to the skillet.
  11. Cook for another 5 minutes until the sauce is slightly reduced.
  12. Top chicken with parsley and slices of lemon.
  13. Serve over spaghetti noodles.

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