Chicken Piccata

Every family has a few “go to” recipes that, when in a pinch, always please the masses. Chicken piccata is an easy dinner that can be dressed up or down, no matter the occasion. It packs a lot of punch with little effort, which makes it a favorite at our house.

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We have adapted our recipe from the one offered at Giadzy, Giada De Laurentiis’ online magazine. It’s a great recipe, yielding flavorful results, but we sometimes tweak it a bit to suit our desires based on the occasion. Here, I’ve added fresh, peppery arugula and I also served my husband’s with pasta di Gragnano, his favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
  • All purpose flour (for dredging)
  • 4 tablespoons (or more) of unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 lemons for juicing (broth), 1 extra lemon for zesting
  • 1/4 cup of capers, drained and rinsed
  • Fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Arugula
  • Pasta artigianale

Adapted from Giadzy

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Start with a few chicken breasts, we usually make three or four, and slice them lengthwise. They will cook more evenly this way. Salt and pepper the chicken to prepare them for dredging in flour. I like to use the Williams Sonoma Goldtouch nonstick quarter sheets as they are the perfect size for dredging and are easy to clean (a beautiful thing).

Meanwhile, prepare your large sauté pan with the butter and olive oil. Olive oil is such a vital ingredient in Italian cooking and I highly recommend buying high quality, imported product. Cook the coated chicken breasts over medium high heat (usually about 3-5 minutes per side) until golden brown, then transfer to a plate.

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Prepare the chicken broth mixture in advance. In a mixing bowl, combine the broth, juice of two lemons, capers, salt and pepper. Pour the contents into the sauce pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits left over from the chicken. Bring to a simmer. Smell the marvelousness.

I add more butter because, while I am Italian, I’m also from the south. Butter is better. Sometimes, I whisk in a sprinkling of flour to thicken the sauce and add a small amount of white wine vinegar for an extra kick.

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Return the chicken breasts to the pan with the sauce. If you are accompanying the dish with pasta, cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions and add to the sauce if desired.

Serve with a garnish of Italian flat leaf parsley, the zest of one lemon and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the palette!

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Buon appetito!

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