Piccata Please!

Piccata Please!

Chicken piccata was once one of those things I would order at any Italian eatery to feel fancy.  Later it became something I’d order to determine the authenticity of any Italian eatery.  Now I don’t see it on menus anymore.  Right, like I’ve been perusing menus this past year.  Ha!  I don’t think I’ve laid eyes on an Italian menu anywhere in a year.  That’s so weird.

Anyway.  As you all know I have such a fondness for boneless skinless chicken breast, AKA The Ultimate Dry Meat.  It’s the sauce that saves you here.  Plus you get to pound it first.  I’ve become quite fond of pulverizing things with a metal mallet these past several months.  Make of that what you will and pound on friends.

I often skip making a starch at home with dinners.  Mostly because I’m lazy.  But I’ve been struggling to cook lately.  I know I’m not alone in that.  I’m just sick of it, really.  You’re sitting there thinking, “When is she going to stop complaining?”  I know, I know.  Anyway, this piccata lends itself gorgeously (is that a word?) to a salad instead of some heavy pasta or potatoes.

Arugula is a great choice because it isn’t watery and it’s peppery, which is a lovely partner with the lemony piccata.  But what I’m really excited about is the adding of chopped fine herbs on top of the salad.  I’ve been doing it for others forever.  At home, it was just an added bougie step that I skipped.  Not anymore!  Don’t skip the sprinkling of the herbs.  Trust me.

Also…sorry about the lack of pictures for this post.  I’m a bit rusty.  Or crusty.  Ha!

Chicken Piccata And Fine Herbs Salad

Ingredients For Chicken:
4 chicken breasts pounded flat and cut in half
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4-6 lemons juiced
1/2 cup minced parsley
1 shallot minced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 small jar capers in brine
1 cup dry white wine (or a little more if needed)
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup olive oil
1 stick butter

Ingredients For Salad:
1 container arugula
6 slices of peeled oranges (I used Cara Cara and blood oranges)
2 tbsp chopped tarragon
2 tbsp minced chives
cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup thin sliced shallots
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
A pinch each of salt, pepper, and sugar

1.)  Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a large heave bottomed pan.  Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper together.  Dredge the pounded chicken in the flour, shake off the excess, and fry in batches in the olive oil.  Remove the chicken before it’s finished cooking and set aside.

2.)  When the chicken is done occupying the pan, quickly toss in the minced garlic and shallot, and stir quickly, and then quickly  add half the lemon juice.  Then add the wine.  Quickly now! Chopchop! Add the chicken broth and simmer until all that has reduced by half….ish.

3.)  Taste your sauce for more lemon and add it here if it needs more lemon flavor.  Dip into the chopped parsley and drop a fat pinch or two into the sauce and whisk in the butter.  Add the chicken and the capers and simmer until the chicken is just done, which should only take a few minutes on each side.

4.)  In a jar you can shake, mix together the vinegar, canola, salt, pepper, sugar, and a small pinch each of the parsley, tarragon, and chives.  Shake it up.  Or whisk it in a bowl. No one cares. Set it aside.

5.)  Assemble your salad.  Place a piece of chicken next to it and spoon the piccata sauce over the chicken.  Garnish the chicken with plenty of chopped parsley.  Garnish the salad with the remaining chopped herbs…parsley, chives, and taragon.  Dress the salad lightly with the dressing.  Lightly!  Some of the salad will mix with the piccata sauce so go easy.