Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chicken Piccata, Part Deux

Last time I made Chicken Piccata, I liked it but I didn't really love it. It was simple, it didn't have a cream sauce, and the ingredients were all in my pantry. It served its purpose, but I didn't really want to make it again. I was anxious to try it again, but I was also looking for a new recipe.

This time, I defaulted to the Giada version. It was really, really good. I loved it, but I feel like I did something wrong--see my notes for a full explanation.

On the whole, I liked this a lot. I would make some changes just based on our tastes, but it's Giada, so you can't really go wrong!

Chicken Piccata
(Adapted from Giada di Laurentiis)

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Notes:
  • Capers! Graham and I have the strangest, funniest story involving capers. Remind me to tell you sometime. This was Graham's first caper experience and I think he found it enjoyable.
  • I used entirely too much flour. I would probably limit it to 1.5 cups for this particular recipe. However....
  • I'm thinking I might try egg + breadcrumbs for a breading next time. Just a thought...
  • This was really moist. As in, fall-apart-off-the-fork-before-I-can-put-it-on-the-plate moist. But, the problem I mentioned earlier? It felt too chewy to me. Perhaps I cooked it too long, or maybe I just used too much flour. Not sure. I could have made this chicken and shredded it by hand for tacos or something. Not sure why it came out kind of chewy...I'm thinking it might be the flour, but I can't tell.
  • Graham felt like this was too lemony for his tastes. Next time I think I'll cut it down to a 1/4 cup lemon juice.
  • I served this with steamed green beans. I lined the steamer with slices of lemon wedges after I squeezed out the juice (note--the more juice you squeeze from the lemon, the easier it will be to cut). It left a nice flavor, and I think I will do that next time I steam broccoli as well. Graham likes oranges a lot, so maybe I'll make up an orange-infused meal sometime.
  • This was the first time I ever butterflied anything! I was a little nervous, and most of them didn't turn out too well. I read up on my cookbooks and watched an instructional video online to get a feel for it. One turned out GREAT! It was perfect on both sides...I just wish the other three had turned out like that.
  • I had a 4 pack of chicken breasts. I made all four and we'll have two for leftovers sometime this weekend.
  • I'm thinking I might add a few cloves of garlic next time. I think that might cut down on some of the lemony flavor.
  • I garnished it with lemon zest instead of parsley. I love my zester and I'll jump at any chance to use it!

2 comments:

  1. I tagged you on my blog! Check it out at http://coffee-stainedwriter.blogspot.com/2008/06/six-word-memoir.html

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  2. The Giada recipe is the best I have found. The flour dredging doesn't mean to give it a thick breading, but the version Chicken Francaise uses egg and flour so you may like that better.

    I use more chicken broth which makes more sauce and less lemon flavor. Also, I use thinly sliced chicken breasts instead of butterflying the thick ones - works great! Check out my blog for my success with this dish.

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