When this magazine exploited a healthier version of chicken piccata, I accepted that it would bear a spritz of lemon and three capers all in the name of 300 calories a serving which was okay because it is the new year and we’re all eating like squirrels. I didn’t, however,  expect ladles of sauce with intense flavor and that the whole family from the spice-averse to the Nutella spokesperson would rave. Audible, repeated compliments. Best part, this chicken recipe is even better the next way which means the do-ahead options help anyone who is squeezing dinner between snowsuit raincoat unzipping and homework wrestle matches.  Thankfully, we made double the recipe and I urge you to do the same; weekend lunches done in sixty microwavable seconds.

Did I say yet, this chicken piccata is so ridiculously good that you’ll be embarrassed by the praise?

A few simple steps:

 

Dredge thinner breasts (ouch) either pre-sliced or pounded down (zowie) in just enough oil/butter.

sauteeing thin breasts

 

While breasts are being kept warm after all that pounding and thinning, add garlic, shallots, stock, wine, etc to the pan in succession and cook a bit.

sauce reduction

 

Remove sauce from heat and whisk in butter (remember we doubled the recipe, so butter is light), capers, and lemon juice.

stir in scant butter

 

You can make the entire recipe in advance and simply reheat for dinner.  If you’re lucky enough to have one of these, just freeze and reheat in a pot of boiling water.

 

best chicken piccata

You’re welcome.

[recipe]

you say piccata and I say…

cooktime 30 minutes                            serves 4

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1/2 c all purpose flour, divided

1/2 t kosher salt

1/4 ground black pepper

2 1/2 T butter, divided

2 T olive oil, divided

1/3 c finely chopped shallots

4 med garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 c dry white wine

3/4 c fat-free, low-sodium chicken stock

2 T fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 T drained capers

3/ T coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley (clearly, I did not have)

  1. Place chicken breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/2 inch with mallet or bottom of heavy skillet.
  2. Place 1 t of flour in small bowl (reserve) and place the remaining flour in a shallow dish.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, dredge in flour, and shake off excess.
  4. Melt 1 T butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 T oil to pan, swirl to coat.
  5. Add chicken to pan; saute 4 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
  6. Heat remaining 1 T oil in pan.  Add shallots, sauté 3 minutes, stirring.
  7. Add garlic, saute 1 minutes, stirring constantly.
  8. Add wine, bring to boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Cook until liquid almost evaporates.
  9. Add 1/4 c stock to reserved flour and stir until combined.
  10. Add remaining 1/2 stock to pan, bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half (5 minutes).
  11. Stir in flour mixture; cook 1 minutes, stirring frequently.
  12. Remove from heat.  Stir in remaining butter, juice and capers.
  13. Place 1 chicken great half on each plate, top with about 2 T sauce. Sprinkle with parsley.

crunchtimewarp: (fastest version)

  • Buy pre-sliced (horizontally, not tenders) chicken breasts.
  • Use jarred pre-chopped garlic (still love my fresh, but in a pinch will do).
  • Omit parsley.
  • Double the recipe for tomorrow’s time saver.
  • Make earlier in the day or the night before and just reheat for dinner.

recipe barely adapted from Cooking Light Jan/Feb ’12 and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

4 Comments

  1. Bill Stoner says Jan 16th 2012 7:54 am

    It sounded and looked way too yummy and I had all the ingredients–except chicken breasts. So I thawed and slowly baked two turkey legs, cut the meat in big chunks and it was as delicious as we’d hoped. This sauce has so much potential use. I intentionally made extra sauce. Didn’t know what for until the next day when I beefed up some leftover soup. Fantastic. I’m thinking: pasta; maybe add some cheese.
    Thanks, Bill

    • Sherri says Jan 19th 2012 1:19 pm

      Thanks Bill. I hadn’t thought beyond the chicken breast, but you’re right that the sauce is so intensely good that it could dress up any protein. I’m thinking of a good use for the leftover sauce this moment for lunch.

  2. Sandy Troy says Oct 23rd 2013 11:03 am

    I love picatta sauce with shrimp (cooks quick)also over vegetables.
    My simple recipe with out flour is pound chicken breasts flat so they are even thickness, put in zip lock with 1 envelope of your favorite dry seasoning (I use Good Seasons Italian (dry in envelope)dressing mix with olive oil (or your preferred seasonings). Put chicken in zip lock in refrigerator for 3 hr to 7 hrs. When ready to cook and serve, saute 1-2 shallots and 1 garlic 1 min., add chicken to pan, saute chicken till light brownish on one side and 3 min on the other (not brown). If cooking shrimp saute till till barely pink (don’t over cook they will be heated later and finish cooking. Remove chicken or shrimp from pan. Mix 1 cup white wine with 1 cup chicken broth and 4 teaspoons cornstarch then pour into pan, heat/stir three min till thick, add 1/3 cup lemon juice, some capers (crush some in pan). Heat to a simmer before adding the chicken or shrimp back in. Simmer for 2 min, serve…hmmmm. My favorite. I double the sauce recipe and use over vegetables (green beans, brussel sprouts, broccoli…)

    • Sherri says Oct 23rd 2013 4:42 pm

      Love this recipe without flour. Can almost taste the seasonings from your description and I bet it’s a real crowd pleaser. Thanks for sharing and showing us how easy it is to make a delicious picatta.

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