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Chicken Piccata

July 21, 2010

Wilson and I decided that we wanted to make a meal that was more elaborate than usual. It was the weekend, so it seemed reasonable to put forth the extra time and effort. But after sifting through several cookbooks, I said, “I think I want chicken piccata.” Wilson looked at me, grinned, and said, “Let’s do it!”  This is a dish that we have talked about making in the past but never really got around to it. I remembered that I’d seen a recipe by Ina Garten online before, so that’s what we decided to use.

All the times I’ve had chicken piccata, it’s had capers. Ina’s recipe doesn’t include them, but you certainly could add them to the sauce near the end of cooking. Despite our intentions to make something at least semi-complicated, we made something quick and delicious. We served the chicken and sauce over angel hair pasta, which was just perfect. This dish reminded me in a strange way of something my mother would serve – it’s homey, comforting, and to the point. There are no frills here, and you don’t need them.  The clear but rich flavors make this dish a joy to prepare and to eat.  It made for the perfect Sunday supper, or, as Wilson learned, for a great leftover lunch!

Chicken Piccata

From Ina Garten

Serves 2

  • 2 split (1 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • Good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Sliced lemon, for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound out to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the egg and 1/2 tablespoon of water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread crumb mixtures.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan and allow them to bake for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and then add the lemon juice, wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves and serve 1 chicken breast on each plate. Spoon on the sauce and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

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