Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Classic for a Reason: Chicken Piccata

I was going to post the recipe last night - the actual day of making it. But it didn't seem right. A gal safe and sound in her house in Jersey sharing a classic, uncomplicated recipe for Chicken Piccata while all this turmoil was going on across the pond in Manchester.

I don't know.  I guess I take my news hard. After scouring the news channels and internets for hours, I just headed to bed where I tossed and turned and didn't sleep much - for about the thirtieth night in a row.

Cooking settles my soul.  I'm surrounded by chaos it seems day in, day out - regardless of what is happening in the current news cycle. I'm sure everyone feels at times that the hustle and bustle of work and child-rearing, bill paying and housekeeping can wear you down. That's when I turn to making something wonderful in my kitchen.

Chicken Piccata is a classic. It doesn't require fancy ingredients, and it often is a crowd pleaser. I find it very comforting as well. Two years ago, I suffered a miscarriage. My family insisted I eat something upon returning home from the hospital trying to conclude the most unsettling day I have ever had in my life. Head pounding, heart breaking, delirious from trying to understand the unfathomable. I ordered some Chicken Piccata from a local restaurant. I ate about five bites before collapsing into a bed filled with loss and tears. But in some way that simple Chicken Piccata made me feel like maybe everything will be ok. I like to make this dish when we need our spirits lifted. When we need a fabulous dinner without a lot of thought. I hope you do the same. 

Chicken piccata
Makes 4-6 servings

2 lbs. thinly cut chicken cutlets
½ cup flour, plus 2 Tbsp.
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 cup of white wine
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. capers
4-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
¼ finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

On a baking sheet, line up your chicken. Season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper.

In a shallow dish – like a pie dish – whisk together flour with salt and pepper to taste. Dredge the seasoned chicken cutlets in the flour.

Meanwhile, in a large pan heat up a Tbsp. olive oil. Lightly brown chicken on each side – about three to four minutes per side. Remove to a covered dish. Repeat until all chicken is cooked and removed from pan.

Melt butter and a little more olive oil in the pan over medium high heat. Add garlic, shallots and lemon zest. Saute until fragrant. Add 2 Tbsp. flour. Whisk until blended.

Add white wine. Bring to a boil and allow wine to reduce to about half. Mixture should slightly thicken. Add chicken broth. Bring to a simmer. Add lemon juice and capers. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about five minutes.

Return chicken to pan. Cover. Cook over medium-low heat until everything is cooked through.

Top with chopped parsley and serve.