Friday, September 23, 2011

Chicken Piccata

It's been a busy week at work.  I rarely mention work on the blog, mostly because I when I blog I get to immerse myself in a different world that has nothing to do with work.   Like I can pretend that I don't really have a full time job in corporate America.  Don't get me wrong, I really like my job and adore the people I work with (and yes, my boss reads this blog...hi Amy).  But it's nice to get away to blog land several nights a week and think about all mouth watering sweet treats and savory eats that can be made.  Unfortunately this week has cut into my precious blog time and I'm a little behind with a backlog of 6 posts sitting in my drafts folder.  I also didn't get to spend as much time in the kitchen as I would have liked.  Something I plan to rectify on Saturday. 

Now, let's get on with the important business.  Chicken piccata.

Hubby LOVES chicken piccata.  He has a handful of dishes that he gravitates to and this is one of them.  I'm not sure why I've never tried to make it at home before.  But I'm glad I finally did.   A little wine, a little lemon juice and zest and a few capers and you have a delicious chicken dish. 

You start by pounding out chicken breasts out thin or about 1/4 inch thick all around (see instructions below on how to pound out the chicken).  Pounding out the chicken breasts allows them to cook evenly and quickly.  Lightly season the chicken and coat it in flour.  Be sure to season the chicken before you flour it.  I like to cook mine in a non stick stainless steel skillet (like All-Clad) because all the good bits of chicken that brown and stick to the pan get released when you pour in the wine and other sauce components.  More browned bits equals more yummy flavor. 

I served the chicken over mashed potatoes but next time I would use angel hair pasta.  I thought the wonderful lemony wine sauce got a little lost in the mashed potatoes.  The chicken would also be good with rice.  And I might also double the sauce component next time because the sauce was really delicious and I wanted more, more, more.  I'm kind of a sauce girl.

This recipe is a keeper!

Chicken Piccata
adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny

Serves 2-4

1 pound chicken breasts, pounded out thin (see below for instructions)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of canola oil
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used 3/4 cup)
4 two inch wide strips of lemon zest (see below for instructions)
4 teaspoons lemon juice (I used 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon chilled butter

Getting Ready:

Pound out chicken:
Place a long piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board and place your chicken breast face down.  Plastic wrap should be long enough to fold in half and cover the chicken breast.  Using the smooth side of a meat mallet or a small heavy bottomed pan, slowly pound chicken starting in the center and working your way out.  You want to get an even thickness across the entire piece of chicken, just under 1/2 thick.  I like to cut my pounded out chicken into 2-3 pieces.  Repeat process with remaining chicken.

Zest lemon:
Use a sharp vegetable peeler to remove a wide strip of the outer skin of the lemon, being careful only remove the yellow part of the skin and not white part, which is bitter.

Prepare remaining ingredients for the sauce:
Squeeze lemon juice, rinse the capers, mince the garlic, measure the chicken broth and wine and measure out 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 tablespoon of chilled butter.

Start Cooking:

Make the Chicken:
Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper.  Place 1/4 cup of flour in a shallow dish (large enough to hold a chicken cutlet).  Dredge chicken cutlets in the flour and shake off any excess.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Place floured chicken in the heated oil and cook for about 3-4 minutes on one side and turn chicken and continue cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes, until just cooked through.  Remove chicken to a plate and cover the plate loosely with foil to keep warm. 

Make the Sauce:
Once chicken is removed from the pan, add the capers and minced garlic to the oil left in the skillet and heat to medium.  Cook for about 30 seconds being careful not to burn the garlic.  Stir in the remaining tablespoon of flour.   Whisk in broth, wine and lemon zest strips.  Be sure to scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan for additional flavor.  Bring sauce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 until slighly thickened and reduced to approximately 1/2 cup.

Bring it all together:
Turn off the heat and remove strips of lemon zest.  Stir in lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of butter until fully incorporated.  Return the chicken cutlets to the pan with the sauce, including an juices from the chicken. Heat through for 30 seconds to a minute.

Serve your chicken cutlets and sauce over mashed potatoes or angel hair pasta.


  1. Chicken piccata is one of my favorite dishes! I think it's because I'm a huge caper fan. I'm going to need to make this in the very near future.

  2. Wow beautiful! Angel hair pasta sounds like it would go perfectly! :)

  3. I love chicken piccata too, but haven't made it in ages. Your post has me craving it big time - I think it'll be on the menu this week :)

  4. I do love chicken piccata. It is the perfect food!