One of my favorite dishes to order in an Italian restaurant is veal piccata, yet I never seem to make it at home. One might be the price of veal but I really think it’s the sauce. Trying to make the perfect velvety yet tangy sauce has always been daunting, at least to me.
While flipping through Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa At Home – Everyday Recipes You’ll Make Over and Over Again – and I can easily say from the outset, this is a recipe I will be making over and over again – I found Ina’s recipe for Chicken Piccata and decided to give it a try.
The recipe is simple for every day, yet elegant enough for company.
- 4 split (2 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
- Good olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice – about 2 lemons – save the lemon halves
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Sliced lemon, for serving
- Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet.
NOTE: I remember watching Nigella one morning and her stating what great satisfaction there was in taking a rolling pin and bashing something. She was SO right! There was a certain sense of satisfaction bashing the chicken breasts to within a 1/4″ of it’s life! By the way, these may have been SUPER chickens! The breasts after the pounding were HUGE! Certainly more of a single portion each.
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Place the flour into a shallow plate and add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. In a second plate, beat the eggs and 1 tablespoon of water together. On a third shallow plate place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dredge each chicken breast first in the flour – shaking off the excess – then dip into the egg and lastly into the bread crumb mixture.
NOTE: Pardon my messing dipping!
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the one or two chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan and allow them to bake for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the sauce.
NOTE: Took a little longer than 2 minutes per side to get a nice golden brown. Do not crowd the pan. The chicken will steam and not saute. Tis may have had something to do with my dinosaur chicken.
Once the chicken is in the oven, you’re ready to make the sauce. Wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel – BE CAREFUL THE PAN IS HOT!!
Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Once melted, add the lemon juice, wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and let bubble away until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to combine. Throw away the lemon halves. Pile the chicken on a serving platter, pour the sauce over, sprinkle with the lemon slices and parsley.
Dinner is served and you will hear silence and mmmmmms all around!
NOTE: Things to do differently next time:
- Cut the pounded chicken into non-Flinstone like proportions!
- Larger plates for the dry ingredient dipping. I usually use paper towels and then throw them away, but something took over me and a MESS was the result!