> Chicken breasts are usually boring. Hum drum, forget what I’m eating, dry, what’s for dessert, dull. When I’m planning my weekly menus, I rarely get inspired by chicken breasts, opting for pork, beef, and even lamb instead. Roast chickens, with their crispy golden skin and moist meat, are in a different category.
But the other day, enticed by a killer sale at Whole Foods, I threw a package of chicken breasts into my cart. And that night, I attacked the breasts, and made them into something exciting, something that had us all licking our plates, grabbing bread to sop up sauce, and moaning with pleasure. This chicken piccata recipe, with its savory tangy sauce, will spice up your weeknight dinner too.
Our first order of business was to pound the breasts into thin cutlets. I took the breasts one by one and sandwiched them between two long sheets of plastic wrap. Then I handed the job over to my sous-chefs. I’m always looking for novel ways to get my kids involved in the cooking, and the challenge of pounding the meat with all their strength was the most fun they’d had in weeks. They took to it with gusto, taking turns, shouting words of encouragement to each other. Even three-year-old Juliette got into the action.
For the kids’ dinner, I simply took their flattened cutlet and pan fried it with butter and a dash of lemon juice – a junior version of Chicken Piccata. The adult version was just as easy, but just with a little more flavor. And if you’ve steered clear of this dish because you don’t like capers, I urge you to give it another try. The pan sauces and the lemon neutralize the harshness of the capers, giving the sauce a fresh and savory richness.
1 package of chicken breasts
3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of capers
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3/4 cups of chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon of salted butter
Between two sheets of plastic wrap, pound the chicken breasts, one by one, until they are about 1/2 inch in thickness.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add chicken cutlets (as many as will fit in a single layer), and cook until lightly browned on both sides and cooked through (about 2 minutes on each side). Place on a platter, and cover with foil. Add more oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining cutlets.
Reduce the heat to medium and add another tablespoon of olive oil. Then add the capers, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic softens, about 2 minutes.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the pan. Add the chicken broth. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces by half, about 3 minutes.
Turn off the heat and swirl in the tablespoon of butter as well as half of the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle the sauce over the chicken cutlets. Decorate with a sprinkling of the remaining parsley. Serve immediately.
I served roasted asparagus alongside the chicken piccata.
Roasted Asparagus Ingredients
1 bunch of asparagus spears (with bottoms snapped off)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Spread the asparagus on a cookie sheet, all flat in one layer.
Sprinkle the olive oil, juice of one lemon, salt and pepper on top.
Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until just caramelized.