Chicken Piccata always reminds me of the first episode of Top Chef, Season 4, wherein one of the cheftestants did not know what chicken piccata was and made a mess of a dish. You can read about that particular episode here. Chicken piccata, based on the critique from that episode as well as other recipes, is a breaded chicken cutlet accompanied by a sauce that includes white wine, lemon juice, capers, and butter. I'm not a huge fan of the breading process, even though I love to eat breaded food, so I chose to skip that part. Since I am not being judged by the likes of Tom Colicchio and Rocco DiSpirito, I feel ok with not breading my cutlets. If were going to bread the cutlets, I would employ the technique I used in my Chicken Milanese recipe.
I was inspired to make this dish after discussing the uses for capers while enjoying dinner at the home of some friends. My kids have tried capers recently and seem to like their salty bursts of flavor. These friends remarked that they make piccata for family meals and it tends to be a hit. The technique for making this is very weeknight-friendly so I put this on the short list to make for a weeknight dinner.
The technique for cooking this type of dish is ideal for a quick, flavorful weeknight meal. The protein is sauteed and then a sauce is quickly created in the same pan the protein was cooked in. Simple. Fast. Delicious. Serve it with some roasted potatoes, a salad or steamed green beans and you've got a nice little Monday night meal. Honestly, it probably would be better if you breaded the cutlets and perhaps used something other that boneless, skinless chicken, as it tends to over cook very easily.
Ingredients: 1.5 lbs of chicken cutlets, 1 minced shallot, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 cup of white wine, 1/2 cup chicken stock, juice from half of a lemon, 2 TB capers, 1 TB butter, olive oil, salt, pepper
- Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper.
- In a hot skillet, add olive oil to film the bottom of the pan.
- Add cutlets without crowding the pan. You may have to cook them in batches.
- Cook a couple of minutes on each side until done. Be careful to not over cook. Set aside all of the cooked on a plate.
- If the skillet is dry, add a little more olive oil, then add the minced shallots and garlic. Cook for a minute or two until soft.
- Add the wine and reduce for a couple of minutes, scraping the brown bits of the bottom of the pan.
- Add the chicken stock and reduce for a couple more minutes.
- Turn the heat off and add the capers, lemon juice, butter and any juices that have accumulated on the plate of chicken, then stir well until the butter is incorporated.
- Taste the sauce for seasoning but be careful because the capers are pretty salty.
- Spoon the sauce over the chicken cutlets and eat!