Chicken Piccata is an Italian restaurant staple. A buttery, lemony sauce with capers, a thin piece of chicken, served with pasta…what could be bad about that? The problem for me is, most restaurants use way too much lemon in their Chicken Piccata. I’m not a fan of lemon in food, mostly because people tend to overuse it, overwhelming their dishes with tartness.
Have I turned you off of the idea of Chicken Piccata yet? I hope not, because done right, this dish is a delicious meal to serve the next time you have guests for dinner. I used Giada’s recipe, but dialed back the lemon juice just a hair. My version below shows my changes. I purchased “chicken breast filets” at my farmer’s market – already butterflied, cut in half, and pounded thin. Talk about eliminating the legwork! Of course, you pay extra to have the work done for you, but the way I see it, I paid about $10 for meat that fed 4 people with 2 servings of leftovers. So $10 / 6 servings = $1.67 per serving. Not bad, huh?
adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied, cut in half, pounded thin
2/3 c. AP flour, for dredging
salt & pepper
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. lemon juice
2/3 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. brined capers, rinsed
1/3 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 lb. capellini pasta
Set oven to “warm” or “100 degree” setting.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, coating both sides, then shaking off excess flour.
In a large saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. of butter with 3 tbsp. olive oil. When butter is sizzling, add two pieces of chicken to the pan. I was only able to cook one piece at a time, so I sauteed two chicken breasts in this time. Cook the chicken 3 minutes on each side, then remove to an oven-proof serving plate and put in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the second piece if necessary.
Add 2 tbsp. of butter and 2 tbsp. of olive oil. When butter is sizzling, add two piece of chicken to pan (or one at a time again, if necessary). Cook chicken for three minutes on each side, remove to serving plate and keep warm in the oven.
Add the lemon juice, stock, and capers to the pan to deglaze. Scrape up all the yummy brown bits with a wooden spoon, then add 2 tbsp. butter and whisk vigorously.
In the meantime, boil a large pot of water over high heat. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and a generous sprinkle of kosher salt. Cook capellini according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Add butter, stir to coat. Season to taste with garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
Make a “bed” of pasta on a plate. Top with chicken and spoon sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh parsley.