I remember watching an episode of Top Chef one time and one of their challenges was to recreate a “classic dish”. Chicken Piccata happened to be one of those “classic” dishes. Maybe it's because I grew up in a half-Asian household or maybe I was just sheltered, but I didn't know what the heck Chicken Piccata was. Well… now I do. And it's delicious. And it's classically simple, and worth getting to know.
Adapted from Playing House's blog
1/2 cup flour
4 chicken breasts, cut in half and flattened
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 lemon, cut in half
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
Preheat your oven to 200 F and place baking sheet on middle rack.
Put flour in shallow bowl. Pat the chicken down with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Coat each piece lightly in the flour and shake off any excess.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches (I did 2 batches of 4 pieces), add chicken to skillet and brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. They'll cook pretty quick because they're somewhat thin. After each piece is done, place on baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Repeat until all chicken is complete.
Add the shallot and garlic to the skillet and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Thinly slice one half of the lemon and cut into half moons. Add the lemon slices, along with the chicken broth to the pan and scrape up any sucs (brown bits). Simmer this mixture until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the white wine and squeeze juice from leftover lemon half into the skillet. Turn the heat down to low and stir in butter pats, one at a time. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with sauce on top of chicken. I also braised some spinach really quick in some chicken stock. Andy kept raving how it went exceptionally well with the chicken piccata itself.
This was a quick meal. This was a delicious meal. I think both of those components qualify it as a winner and a keeper. What “classic” dishes do you keep in your memory banks? What “classic” dishes have you heard of but never tried? Enjoy!