Chicken Piccata

I went to a group cooking class in West Philly a few months ago and although the company was less than ideal (it was a work event), I learned to make several tasty dishes, including chicken piccata. Chicken piccata was one of my mom's favorite restaurant meals growing up, so I was excited for the chance to cook the dish for her while we were on vacation. She loved it and so did the other family members eating it :) Below is a general how-to, because the quantities of each ingredient will vary widely depending on how much chicken is used and how it's cut.

Chicken Piccata

Chicken breast, cut in half or pounded
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Dry white wine

Dredge each chicken breast in flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Meanwhile heat the olive oil and butter together in a deep skillet. You want about an 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch depth of oil plus a table spoon or two of butter. The oil should be hot before the chicken goes in. An easy method for testing the temperature is to lay your hand about an inch above the surface of the oil and if you you can't stand the heat for more than a few seconds, it's hot enough (conversely if you can hold your hand above the oil for awhile, it needs to be heated longer). 

Cook the chicken on each side, but only move the breasts once when flipping them from one side to the other (ie avoid pushing them around the pan to test doneness). Allow to cool on a papertowel or cooling rack to allow excess oil to drain off. Once all of the chicken has been cooked, add dry white wine and lemon juice to the pan. The acidity of the wine and lemon will pull up the bits of flour that become stuck to the pan. Stir the liquid and then allow it to reduce to about half its volume. If you want a creamier sauce, add additional flour. Remove the sauce from heat. Add lemon slices and capers. Pour over the chicken in the desired serving dish. 

Note: Garlicky broccoli rabe and fresh pasta make tasty side dishes for the chicken. 

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