Chicken piccata - a tangy dish with a lemon and caper sauce - is remarkably easy to make. In less time than it takes to boil water for a side of pasta, you can cook the entire thing.
This recipe makes enough sauce to serve four. One thick, entire chicken breast (both halves) is enough for four servings.
1-2 6 to 8 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts (use both sides of the breast for 4 servings; or one for 2 servings)
salt & pepper
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/3 cup dry white wine (you can substitute chicken or vegetable broth)
1 lemon, juiced
1 Tbs. capers (rinsed if bottled in brine)
3 Tbs. minced fresh Italian parsley leaves
Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally, then pound them to a thickness of about a third of an inch, scallopine-style. You'll have four pieces if you use the entire breast (both sides).
Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
Pour about a quarter cup of flour onto a plate and dredge the chicken breasts on both sides in the flour. Shake off any excess flour.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium high.
When the butter's foaming begins to subside, begin placing the chicken pieces into the pan. Work in batches, if necessary. You don't want to over-crowd the pan.
Cook the chicken until just lightly browned on each side — about two minutes or so per side.
Transfer the browned pieces of chicken to a warm plate.
Add the wine or broth to the pan, along with the lemon juice and capers.
Boil the sauce until the liquid is reduced by about half.
When the sauce is reduced, stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter.
Add the chicken back to the pan to heat through and finish cooking - another couple minutes or so.
Sprinkle the chicken with the minced parsley. Don't add the parsley directly to the sauce: it will turn an ugly gray color.
Serve immediately on warmed plates.
Photos by Ted Scheffler