When my husband I were still dating, there were a couple of dishes that I would make for him that he absolutely loved. One of those was Chicken Piccata. He gave me a copy of the Joy of Cooking for my 22nd birthday, and it became my go-to guide for making classic recipes (this was way back in the olden days when the internet was not all that useful!). I looked to the Joy of Cooking for guidance on dinner parties, on pancake making, on all-american dishes like tuna casserole, and how to do stuff I never knew I needed to do – like cream chicken for recipes like Chicken Pot Pie! Who knew!
One of our favorites was the recipe for Chicken Piccata. What I love about the Joy of Cooking is that they didn’t bow to 80’s/early 90’s pressure to “diet” things up. So, while their version is absolutely delicious – butter and flour do play an important role! I hadn’t made Chicken Piccata in a few years, but suddenly I had a taste for it. Though I needed a slightly healthier version. In the version I made, the chicken gets pounded, sprinkled with a little flour on each side, and then a tangy pan sauce is made from white wine, chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers. I served it with spaghetti and steamed mixed vegetables, although rice, roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes also pair well.
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1/2 cup flour, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (German: Schalotte - or onion)
- 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3/4 cup chicken broth or prepared boullion, divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers (German: Kapern)
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Place each chicken breast half in a large Ziplock bag; pound thin using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle both sides of each piece of chicken with a little bit of flour, just a light dusting.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add shallots (or onion) to pan; sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add wine; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
- Cook until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally.
- Add 1/4 cup broth to reserved 1 teaspoon flour; stir until smooth.
- Add remaining 1/2 cup broth to pan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half (about 5 minutes).
- Stir in flour mixture; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Stir in remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, juice, and capers.
- Place 1 chicken breast half on each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle each serving with about 2 teaspoons parsley.