Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Turning Deals Into Meals - Chicken Piccata



When we first moved to Durham, about four years ago, I discovered Southern Season, a gourmet food mega store in neighboring Chapel Hill. In addition to a restaurant, deli counter, and aisles and aisles of food and kitchen gadgets, the store offers themed cooking classes. In my pre-baby days, I attended a class every few months or so - knife skills, Southern biscuit making, tomato gardening/cooking. Each class involves either demonstrations from a "celebrity"chef or hands on cooking instruction, paired with a multi-course meal of the dishes that are taught during the class.

This recipe for Chicken Piccata comes from a class the hubs and I took a few years ago, which focused on easy, weeknight dinners. It's certainly a meal that can go from prep to plate in under 30 minutes. The level of effort and difficulty is low, but the meal plates very well and would be an impressive meal for entertaining.

The saltiness of the capers plays well with the acidity of the lemon juice, creating a very tasty sauce. I like to sneak a little extra to pour on top of my side dishes, like a good rice pilaf. :)

Give the dish a whirl; Chicken Piccata just might become part of our regular dinner rotation, as it has in our house.

Chicken Piccata - Adapted from Southern Season

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup flour
1 cup dried breadcrumbs (I use Panko when I have them)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 Tablespoons butter (time to use up all that free butter from HT)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I like to pick up Winking Owl at Aldi - don't spend too much on cooking wine)
juice of two lemons
2 Tablespoons capers (drained)
Parsley for garnish (optional, I used fresh curly leaf from the garden)
additional lemon wedges for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Pound out chicken breasts until they are even thickness. Season with salt and paper.
  • Dredge chicken breasts in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Set aside.
  • Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil to hot pan.
  • Cook the chicken for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove from skillet, place in oven safe baking dish. Place in oven to finish cooking, ~ 10-15 minutes depending on thickness of breasts.
  • Wipe excess out of pan and return to heat.
  • Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in pan. Add lemon juice, capers, and wine. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add remaining butter to thicken sauce, whisking constantly.
  • Serve chicken breasts with sauce, lemon wedges, and parsley.

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