Sometimes I wonder why I bother to make anything more difficult than this chicken for dinner. This has got everything I want and need in a meal and it takes me just minutes to put together. Piccata shares the same root with piquant, and it lives up to its name with lemon, garlic, shallots, capers, and fortified wine. Every kitchen should have all those ingredients on hand at all times, so all you have to do is pick up the chicken on the way home. (Yay— the express aisle!)
Chicken cutlets are thin slices of the breast, they cook quickly, and are really hold and absorb the flavor of a good sauce. If you use regular breasts you’ll need to put them between pieces of plastic wrap and pound them out to get the same effect. Don’t over cook cutlets, they don’t need long. Think of them as chicken pancakes…a few minutes per side does it.
What You Will Need
- 2 chicken cutlets
- 1/2 cup flour
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 large or 2 smaller shallots, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 heaping Tbsp capers, drained (plus more for garnish)
- 1/4 cup white wine, dry sherry,,or Marsala
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 lemon finely sliced on a mandoline slicer
- handful of fresh parsley, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
- Season the cutlets with salt and pepper. Dredge the cutlets in the flour, making sure to get all the surfaces covered.
- Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter and 1 Tbsp of the oil in a pan. When it is nice and hot add the chicken and let brown for about 3 minutes each side, This will basically cook the chicken through.
- Set the chicken aside on a plate.
- Wipe out any burned bits from the pan and add the final Tbsp of butter and of oil. Saute the shallots and garlic for 2 or 3 minutes until soft. Add the wine and lemon juice to the pan along with the capers, parsley, and finely sliced lemon and continue cooking for a couple of minutes to create the sauce.
- Nestle the chicken back into the sauce, spooning it over the chicken. Heat through, and serve hot, garnished with more capers and parsley.
- If the sauce gets too thick, add a little water and reheat it through.
A mandoline slicer will give you paper thin slices of lemon. It's a wonderful and inexpensive tool to have in the kitchen.
Whether you serve it with a vegetable and salad, or alongside a starch like linguine or polenta, is up to you. We had ours with roasted Brussels sprouts and were very happy.