Happy Valentine's Day! Today I'm sharing a dish that I love to eat and love to make. This was one of the first meals that I tried my hand at making and feel like I have perfected it over the years. I've tried a lot of chicken piccatas at a lot of different restaurants, and I still like mine best. Full disclosure: I made this the first time I met Ryan's parents, as it had become my "good first impression" dish, and he later told me his family normally doesn't love lemon, but they cleaned their plates! So I considered it a success. Anyway, let's get into the recipe.
You will need: thinly sliced chicken breasts, olive oil, butter, a lemon, a glass of dry white wine (I use/drink pinot grigio), capers, about 1 cup of flour, pasta, salt and pepper.
Your prep: Preheat the oven to 250, season flour in a shallow dish with salt and pepper, set a large pot of water to boil, and heat up olive oil over medium heat in a large shallow pan. You just need enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, we're not frying, just sautee-ing.
While the oil is heating up, lightly dredge each chicken breast in the seasoned flour. Again, we're not frying. You don't have to use flour, by the way, if you don't want to. I like using it because it holds the moisture of the chicken in and also thickens the resulting sauce. But you do you.
Also, shout out to my dad on these photos! Check out more of his work here.
While the chicken is cooking on the first side and the water is heating up, assemble what you will need next: get a large dish ready for transferring the chicken to the oven, pour a glass of wine (it's okay to drink half of it), and cut your lemon in half.
After 3 minutes, flip your chicken over. It should be pretty and golden brown. Cook on the other side for an additional 3 minutes.
After that 3 minutes, transfer the chicken to the dish and pop them into the oven to keep warm while you make the sauce and cook the pasta.
Squeeze in the juice of your lemon. This will start the de-glazing of the pan, and help get the yummy fond off the pan.
Use a flat-edged wooden spoon to start scraping up the bits and incorporate all of that chicken flavor into the lemon juice.
Next, pour in the glass of wine, season the sauce with salt and pepper, and add in 2 tablespoons of capers. I scoop the capers out of the jar with a fork, as to avoid getting any brine into the sauce. But if you want more of a salty bite, add in the brine and omit adding salt.
Yummm. And see how the sauce is opaque and looks rich? That's because of the flour. Now let's make this sauce silky...
Add 3/4 stick of butter. This will thicken the sauce a little more, give it a pretty sheen, and luxurious and velvety mouth-feel.
While the butter melts, cook the pasta. I used fresh pasta so it cooks in like, 3-4 minutes. If you're using dried pasta, I'd say throw it in the boiling water when you start making the sauce, as dried pasta cooks in about 8 minutes.
When the pasta is finished, place a pile on a plate, along with a piece of chicken.
And spoon on some sauce! Make this for your sweetie or yourself on this Valentine's Day. I guarantee you will love it. Plus, you probably already have all of these ingredients in your fridge or pantry, so even if you don't make it tonight, it makes for an easy weeknight dinner that still feels fancy. Enjoy my loves!
Food that maximizes flavor and minimizes effort and time.