Chicken Piccata with Shallot

Chicken Piccata with Shallot

You've got to give this one a try. It sounds and looks fancy but it's really not, it's actually pretty easy. The whole thing (including sides) comes together in about 45-60 min, even less after you've made it a few times.

Since becoming Italian in 2012 (by marriage, lol) I've eaten more Chicken Piccata than you can imagine. But don't get me wrong, it's not a complaint, I love the it. I adore capers, I try to put them in everything. When I'm cooking with capers you'll see me steal a few and toss 'em down the hatch like popcorn. They are kind of like olives in the sense they are salty and briny. Yum, I could eat a few right now.  In addition to the salty factor, this dish also has a little tart lemon flavors.

The salt and the tart are combined into a silky smooth sauce divine enough to lap right off the spoon. Have some good, fresh Italian bread on hand to sop up the remaining bits on your plate. 

I find the perfect accompaniments to be angel hair pasta and fresh, French string beans or asparagus. Both vegetables mix well with the lemon. 

Side Note - do you know the difference between Chicken Piccata and Chicken Francese? Both combine lemons and wine to make a delicate sauce. The big difference is with the Francese the chicken is first dipped in egg then flour before being pan-fried and of course, the Piccata has capers. Feel free to use that tidbit to impress your friends the next time you're dining Italian.

Chicken Piccata with Shallot  lemon
Flour and MeLted Butter

Flour and MeLted Butter

Note the Consistency of Butter and flour after mixed together

Note the Consistency of Butter and flour after mixed together

Light coating of flour

Light coating of flour

Pan scear until golden brown on both sides

Pan scear until golden brown on both sides

Note the desired consistency of the lemon caper sauce

Note the desired consistency of the lemon caper sauce

Pour on the good stuff!

Pour on the good stuff!

Garnish with lemon if desired and serve immediatly

Garnish with lemon if desired and serve immediatly

Paired with string beans and angle hair pasta

Paired with string beans and angle hair pasta

Stuff you'll need:

Makes 4-6 Servings
4-6 thin skinless boneless chicken breast halves*
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Additional all-purpose flour - enough for lightly dredging chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup dry white wine (i.e. Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio)
1/4 cup or 1 large lemon - fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup canned low-salt chicken broth (or water if that's all you have)
1/4 cup drained capers
1 small/medium shallot thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley - optional

How To:

* Using 'thin' chicken breasts already prepared at the grocery will save you some time, but traditionally they cost more than starting with a typical chicken breast and pounding it thin. For those pounding the chicken: Place chicken between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder or rolling pin, lightly pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Be careful, it's easy to go wild with the pounding and take it too thin.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Mix 1 tablespoon melted butter with 1 1/2 tablespoons flour in small bowl until smooth - set aside. Place additional flour in a shallow dish (I like to use a paper plate for easy clean up). Dip chicken into flour to lightly coat; shake off any excess. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy large skillet. Add 2-4  chicken breasts to the skillet (if you don't have a large skillet, work in batches, don't over crowd the pan) and cook until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter; tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with 2nd batch if necessary.

Add a pad of butter to the pan and saute shallot until soft. Add to the skillet the wine, lemon juice, and broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk in butter-flour mixture and boil until sauce thickens slightly - about 2 minutes. Lower heat and stir in capers, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle optional parsley and serve.

Serving Options:
I like to serve angle hair pasta with this dish but you could swap it out for any pasta shape you like. My husband just happens to really like the super thin spaghetti. You could skip it all together and/or replace with some warm crusty bread. Add in a bright vegetable to complate the plate!