Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chicken Piccata


When Jen and I lived in Valley Village a few years back, one of our favorite restaurants was Georgio's on Ventura Boulevard. It was a cozy little Italian joint, where the food was good and consistent. We especially liked their chickens Francese and Piccata. In perusing the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook that I recently received, I came across a recipe for Chicken Piccata that looked pretty great. So, armed with fond memories, I tested out the recipe, and it turned out well. Onto the recipe!


First, set your oven to 200º so it can serve as a warming tray for your cooked chicken cutlets.


This recipe calls for 1/2 cup chicken broth. If you have chicken stock on hand, or a canned chicken broth, feel free to skip this step. If not, go ahead and grab 1/4-cube of bouillon.


Dissolve your 1/4-cube in 1/2 cup of boiling water.


We're going to need 4 chicken cutlets for this recipe, but all we have on hand are chicken breasts. As always, this recipe will serve two, so modify the recipe as needed.


The best way to think of one of these boneless, skinless chicken breasts is to look at what parts of the chicken it contains. You've got the actual chicken breast, but underneath it that small, thin flap of chicken is the tenderloin. You're also going to want to remove the excess fat with a small, sharp knife. You can reserve and render it for use later, if you like.


Next, cut the tenderloin from the breast.


Hold one hand down on the breast, and slice through horizontally, forming two cutlets. You can pound these flat, if you like. I sort of regret not doing so, but they turned out pretty well regardless. Repeat this step with the tenderloin, and you've got two more small cutlets, bringing you to two large and two small cutlets just from one breast. Not bad!


Season these with coarse kosher or sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.


If one of your cutlets is significantly bigger than the others, cut it in half to ensure more consistent cooking time.


Heat 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil over medium-high heat. It's ready as soon as it's barely started smoking.


Then, dredge your cutlets in flour. 1/4 cup of flour should be plenty for all four (well, five now) cutlets.


Cook for a couple minutes on each side until cooked through.


When they're done, remove them to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and place them in the oven so they stay hot. I did mine in two batches, but feel free to do yours in one, if you like.


While the chicken is cooking, slice half a lemon into 1/4-inch-thick slices, toss out the end of the lemon, and squeeze the juice from 1/2 to 1 1/2 lemons, depending on how lemony you like your Piccata. The juice from 1 1/2 lemons, about 1/4 cup, will make this a very lemony dish, so only use as much lemon juice as you like.


Mince one clove of garlic.


In the oil left over from cooking the chicken, cook the garlic for 30 seconds or until just softened.


Pour in your chicken broth, and scrape any little browned remnants stuck to the bottom of the pan into the sauce. Next, add the lemon slices and simmer until reduced to a thicker sauce, which should take 10 minutes or so. Then, add the lemon juice.


Chop 3 tbsp unsalted butter.


Turn the heat to low, and add the butter piece by piece, whisking until smooth. Season to taste.


Remove the chicken to a plate.


Top with the sauce, and garnish with lemon slices. Enjoy!

Pacific Coast Highway

Thanks for stopping by Beach City Cooking, and I'll see you all very soon for another post. Have a great night, and stay cool!

1 comment:

  1. Hey these might be delicious on one of your homemade tacos - but the tomatillo salsa probably would clash.