Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday's Feast : Chicken Piccata

Here is my recipe for Chicken Piccata, I have altered a basic recipe that was in the March 1998 Bon Appétit. Amazingly, this is one the few things I make that ALL three of my finicky boys love. I mean we are talking seconds, thirds, and even fourths sometimes. It has a very small list of fresh ingredients and it is quick to make (about half an hour, ...after practice), but I will warn you: it looks like a hurricane passed through the kitchen when you are done. The process of flattening the breasts and then dredging them through flour seems to always make a giant flour-y mess. It might have something to do with the fact that I flatten the breasts to the size of a dinner plate (and you should, too, because they get smaller when you cook them, and they taste incrementally better the thinner you make them--and don't worry about beating them so thin that holes start to form, they happen and it is no big deal).

I've been making this for years, but I remember vividly making it for the first time.... We had three people over for dinner that night. I was going through a phase of making homemade Rustic Italian Bread (check Cooks' Illustrated Magazine for that amazing recipe), so I served the chicken with asparagus and the bread. After dinner, every plate was as shiny clean as when the table had been set.... even the platter that I had served from was mopped clean of the remaining sauce. Every morsel of food had been devoured. It was amazing and the recipe, of course, went to the top of my list of "sure fire winners."

One more tip: Don't be afraid to tinker with: the amount of butter and oil you sauté the chicken in and with the broth, wine, and lemon juice.... taste the sauce as you go and add more of any of the liquids to it so it suits your taste. My husband loves the lemon, so I always add a little more, for example. The sauce should be about the same consistency as gravy, NOT a hollandaise or gelatinous. DO NOT USE THE PHOTO ABOVE as a reference for how big your breasts should be.... I could not find a better one. (Sorry for the all-caps, but I mean it!)

Without further ado, here's the recipe:

4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Additional all purpose flour

2 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed
2 tablespoons butter
, or more as needed

1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup drained capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place chicken between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Using meat pounder or rolling pin, lightly pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Mix 1 tablespoon butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons flour in small bowl until smooth. Place additional flour in shallow baking dish or jelly roll pan. Dip chicken into flour to coat; shake off excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in each of 2 heavy large skillets. Add 2 chicken breasts to each skillet and cook until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter; tent with foil to keep warm.

Bring wine, lemon juice and broth to boil in 1 skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in butter-flour mixture and boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in capers, parsley and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

This is excellent served with french risotto (see Julia Childs' classic recipe) and steamed asparagus or green beans.


  1. YES! thanks for posting the recipe. i was really hoping to get a chance to make it once you boasted so proudly.

  2. I LOVE chicken picatta! This sounds delicious!


    And the recipe looks yummy!

  4. Bella: 1. So Glad to know your name! 2. Yes, I am. I am a terrible tease, you didn't know that?

    Lay: Can't believe you finally stopped lurking and posted a comment. :) And your profile pic in the flowered granny-swim-cap.... priceless!

    Kristina: Enjoy!

    Liz: I just shot coffee out my nose! I am laughing so hard at your comment!

  5. Amy ! That sounds delish and maybe something someone as inept as me in the kitchen can handle. I'm gonna try it.

    So hey - you're a guest of honor at a BBQ I'm hosting today at MWOB. I would love it if you would stop by and at say hello to the other cool peeps who are there. AND it's a good reason for me to do the comment in the comment section thing....and I see you are right back to doing it as well!! :-)

    Happy Friday!

  6. what time is dinner? can i bring you anything from bull shoals lake???

  7. Hmmm...This caught my attention. Yum.

  8. Lee: Thanks! I just made my grand entrance with the chicken and some chips and queso (because what DOESN'T taste good with queso??). And warm weather anywhere sounds fab right about now. :)

    Irish Woman: 6pm sharp.... and maybe some "throwed rolls" would be nice. Have you seen signs for that place on the highway??

    MIchele: Hope you like it. You'd have to be one crazy not to! ;-)

  9. Chicken Piccatta fregin rules!

  10. "Bak! Bak! BagAAAK!!! Give my breasts back!! Give my breasts back!! I'm calling Braja! Get me out of this frying pan!! BagAAAAAKKKK!!!!"

    The chicken


  11. tastes like......chicken.

    Now, where's my drink???

  12. McJoseph: Yeah. I know. ;^D

    Braja: Would you stop bringing that ridiculous chicken around here! Now my kitchen has to be hosed down!!

    Vodka: The bar is in the corner... Vodka top shelf, vermouth is on the bottom one. Olives are in the fridge. Jesus, woman, help yourself!

  13. Yum-fookin-tastic!!! That looks and sounds wonderful, and I've been collecting recipes all over blogspot today. Thanks for this one!!

  14. You can hose the kitchen down all you want but it's TITS are in the frying pan lol....

  15. that looks nummy!! I just may make that this week!

  16. Thanks for sharing! I'm about to graduate college and I still haven't figured out how to cook. I need some guidance.

  17. Ummmmmm. Yum.

    That's all I have to say.

  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Thoughts appreciated. Advice welcome. Douche-baggery scoffed at then deleted.