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Monday, May 6, 2024

Robert's Chicken Piccata

I made chicken piccata last night. 

Our parents loved piccata, marsala, scallopine and dishes like this and so do we.

My wife said that it was one of the best things I have ever made but she says things like that so that I will feel good. 

In any case it is a simple dish and easy to make and I thought that I would share my version with you.

As you can see, I served this with pappardelle. 

One of the toughest things for me as a new chef who came to cooking late in life is timing dishes and side dishes.

You hate waiting for something to cook while other things get cold.

 I often misjudge.

In order to improve my timing, I had everything assembled mise en place, ready to go when called upon.

Four cloves garlic minced, four tablespoons butter diced into smaller cubes, one tablespoon capers coarsely chopped. Half a lemon cut and squeezed into a small bowl.

The first thing I did was to pound approx. 2 lbs. of chicken filets between wax paper with a wooden mallet. I cut them into manageable portions. I then took one of my nice new old restaurant platters and salted and peppered both sides of the chicken. I drizzled olive oil on the filets, worked it around with my hands and then dredged them in a seasoned flour mixture, coating both sides.

We started the water for the noodles. The pappardelle should take approximately twenty minutes and if everything went to plan, it all would be ready in a perfectly syncopated crescendo.

I pulled out my largest calaphon saucepan and put two tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom, swirling it around on medium high heat. I seared half my chicken in the olive oil for two minutes and then turned it for thirty seconds on the other side and then removed them to a waiting plate. 

I repeated with the remaining chicken. For some reason the second batch always browns better than the first batch, not sure why. I cheated and added a cube of butter to the oil and added a little more oil too to finish the bird.

After all my poultry was removed to the clean plate I added my garlic and another splash of oil and reducing the heat, allowed it to cook for about two minutes and golden up a little. My god, does this dish smell good.

I then added a third of a cup of white dry cooking wine that we keep for such an occasion and a third of a cup of chicken broth (my secret ingredient). 

I deglazed the pan, using the beautiful new acacia spatula that I had bought for just such an occasion to loosen up the flavorful bits on the bottom.

I let the liquid cook down and evaporate to practically nil for about two minutes and then added a half cup of water and my butter, swirling it around and mixing aggressively so that the butter would meld with the water into a thick emulsion. 

This took about a minute.

I put the chicken back in the pan and made sure to both cover the filets with liquid but also to turn them after a minute.

My sauce looked a bit thin. So I added about a quarter cup of half and half into the sauce to thicken it, removed it from the heat and mixed in my approximately two tablespoons of lemon juice. Some recipes call for whole cream, some omit it entirely, I thought it needed it.

I checked it for salt and taste and actually it didn't require anything.

I plated our dinner, scooping sauce over the now cooked pappardelle noodles and added parsley that Leslie had chopped on top. Bon appetito!

Voila. It was perfect.

We paired it with a 2015 bottle of Tuscan wine that Leslie had put away for just such an occasion, a Casone a Toscana. 

Dessert was a haagen daz bar.

I have now made chicken piccata on numerous occasions, sole piccata and veal piccata.

If my wife says this was the best dish yet I will take her word for it. 

The chicken was perfectly cooked, juicy and flavorful.

We can't wait for leftovers tonight. 

We are going to add mushrooms and give it a little twist.

1 comment:

Blue Heron said...

Oh man, your Chicken Piccata is making my mouth water!!! One of my faves!!!