Saturday, February 02, 2008

Chicken Piccata

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/2 cups seasoned dried bread crumbs
4-6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons, approx.)
1/2 cup dry white wine
Chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley and sliced lemon, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place each chicken breast between plastic wrap and pound it out to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and pepper.

Mix flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper on a shallow plate. In a second plate (or shallow bowl), beat eggs and 1 tablespoon water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third shallow dish. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg mixture, followed with the bread crumbs.

Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Add 2 chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until just browned. Place them on the sheet pan while you cook the remaining chicken. Heat more olive oil in the pan and cook the remaining 2 chicken breasts. Place them on the same sheet pan and place the pan in the oven, baking for 5-10 minutes while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, wipe any remaining oil from the skillet with a dry paper towel. On medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add lemon juice, white wine, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter; whisk to combine.

Spoon a portion of sauce over each chicken breast; garnish with a slice or two of fresh lemon and chopped parsley.

Serve 4


The texture of the breaded cutlets is fabulous! Nice and crispy on the outside; moist and tender on the inside. Perfect. I think the key lies in the short frying time, followed by baking in a fairly hot oven. The parchment paper absorbed a lot of the excess oil, which helps keep the cutlet from getting too greasy. However, the sauce needs to be doubled, at least for this family! I think I would add more butter and wine and keep the lemon juice amount as is. A small amount of heavy cream might be a nice addition to help stretch the sauce a bit.

I didn't use nearly all of the flour. Next time, I'll start with half a cup and add more as needed.

I served the chicken with angel hair pasta, but a nice rice pilaf would be tasty, too.

Modified from original recipe in Barefoot Contessa At Home Cookbook.

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At 6:12 PM, Anonymous mommytoj said...

That looks delicious!

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Oh that looks yummy! I'm adding it to my list of recipes to try.

I'm planning on trying the potato chowder this week. I can't wait!

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Les said...

MommytoJ - It is!! Might go a little easy on the lemon juice, though, as it can taste a bit metallic if you overdo it. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Heather - Enjoy. It's sure to become one of our family favorites. Next time I'll add mushrooms and (if I'm feeling adventurous) pancetta.

Oooh, I need to make that potato chowder again. Summer will be here before we know it and I won't want to make soup!

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Bellezza said...

I ADORE chicken piccata! I'm hungry just looking at this feast! No dessert required, Les, with such a yummy entree. I've never bought a Barefoot Contessa book, but I love that she's not all emaciated and stuff. I'm getting really sick of skinny people (the older I get).

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Les said...

Bellezza - And of course, some sauted mushrooms, pancetta and artichoke hearts would be a great addition to this - just like Macaroni Grill! :)

I have three of Ina Garten's cookbooks. Getting ready to post a cake recipe from one (although I don't have a picture, but that's ok. Not every recipe has to have a picture, right?)

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Melonie said...

Ok this looks great, and I love Barefoot Contessa, so it must be! I will have to try this and compare to my recipe. :)


At 12:50 PM, Blogger Les said...

Melonie - What a coincidence! I just made this last night for dinner! I've decided the sauce is all wrong, though. It needs to be creamy, so I'd definitely add something to thicken it up. Probably some heavy whipping cream. Let me know how it turns out for you.


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