Sometimes, I just have to give myself a culinary pat on the back. And sometimes, I totally eff up a recipe. Tonight, I wanted chicken piccata – that tangy, garlicy goodness. What can’t be good about fried chicken with a lemon-caper sauce? Plus, I had a lemon that I zested a few weeks ago and was saving in the fridge.
I’ve made the Giada recipe before, but the butter always burned. This recipe from Simply Recipes looks fabulous, and has a good how-to guide.
So this time, I did my own version. Classically, chicken piccata is made with white wine and capers. But I forgot to put the capers in and I didn’t have any white wine. Still, somehow, it was yum.
It makes me really happy, because I was fully prepared for this to suck.
Here’s what I did:
1. Butterfly two chicken breasts and preheat your oven to 350.
2. Dredge the breasts in a flour mixture that contains paprika, salt and pepper. Shake off all the excess. Next, dip them in a mixture of one egg and water. Finally, coat them in bread crumbs (Italian style is good, but I just had plain).
3. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a skillet and brown the chicken on both sides. Remove to a baking sheet.
4. Put the chicken in the oven to cook the rest of the way through (keep an eye on them). Take them out when cooked through.
5. While the chicken bakes, start the sauce: wipe out the skillet and on medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter and add one shallot and 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic. Saute the shallot and garlic until they start to foam. Then, wisk in about one cup of chicken stock. Eyeball it to a sauce-like thickness.
Next, I sprinkle in 1 tbsp of flour and wisk to thicken. After a couple minutes of simmering and more wisking (by the way, I “wisked” with a wooden spoon just because I was too lazy to get out my wire wisk. Whatevs.), stir in the juice from one lemon, a handful of chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Take off the heat.
6. To serve: Drop a couple spoonfulls of mashed potatoes on your plate (Cook diced peeled potatoes while you prepare the chicken, mash them with cream, butter, s&p, or however you like it!). Place the chicken on top and spoon the sauce over it.
Wine and capers are two of my favorite ingredients of all time. And I didn’t add them. Sad. If you have them, just stir them into the sauce as you’re cooking it. Add them before you add the lemon and parsley – you want those to cook the least.
Still, the lightly fried chicken was tender and juicy and that lemony sauce was perfection – somehow. The only reason I used the shallot was because I was going to rot in my fridge if I didn’t. Don’t you love using up old ingredients in your fridge?
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