In high school or college, if I ever tried to impress you with my narrow culinary skills this was my memorized recipe. Now that I've been cooking more and more I nearly forgot about this classic Italian recipe! Heaven forbid, so I'm bringing it back. I made it this weekend in the mountains with a light olive oil pasta and Citrus Asparagus with Sweet Red Peppers and Balsamic Glaze (recipe coming soon!). You will often find Veal Piccata, which I must try soon, yet this recipe features pounded chicken breasts. Piccata refers to the pounded or butterflied meat (veal or chicken) with a lemon, butter and caper sauce. It looks fancy, which no doubt it is, yet uses easy techniques and ingredients!
-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
-1 cup flour
-2 Tbsp garlic powder
-salt and pepper to taste
-3 Tbsp butter (divided)
-1 Tbsp vegetable oil
-1/4 cup white wine
-2 Tbsp capers
-juice 1 lemon
-3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Fisrt, pound the chicken breasts until about 1/2 thick. The best way to do this is between 2 pieces of plastic (Saran) wrap or a gallon plastic bag. Use a mallet being careful not to pound too much and rip through the chicken.
Next season the chicken with salt and pepper. I had a tri-peppercorn medley I decided to try, which is why the pepper is different colors.
Next on a plate, evenly spread the flour and sprinkle with garlic powder. Salt and pepper as well. Using your fingers or a fork, mix until evenly distributed.
Dredge each chicken breast (both sides) in the flour mixture and put on a dry plate.
Chop your parsley and halve your lemon. Now, over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet. Use a cast-iron or avoid non-stick skillets to help brown, although a non-stick will work if that's all you have.
Once the butter is melted and hot (not burnt!), add your chicken breasts. Brown for 3-4 minutes per side. Squeeze juice of one large lemon before removing the chicken from the heat.
Remove chicken from heat, place on a clean plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Reduce heat of pan to medium and add white wine, capers and 2 Tbsp of parsley. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to remove stuck brownings and incorporate into the sauce. Increase heat to high (if need be) to bring the sauce to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes until wine is reduced by half. Add 1 Tbsp of butter to the sauce and melt.
If you would like to thicken your sauce a bit, you can add 1 Tbsp flour to the sauce whisking constantly until dissolved. Bring back to a boil and you sauce will be thicker. Serve each chicken breast with half the sauce and a sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbsp of parsley for garnish. I often serve with a light pasta using only olive oil, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese as a sauce! Enjoy your Italian classic.