Sunday, April 6, 2008

Chicken Piccata

After a monster day I called Bill from the office and asked whether maybe he could hit the blog and turn out this quick chicken piccata for dinner, since I was running late. By the time I got home an hour or so later, he was in a state of giddy near hysteria, with raw chicken spread out all over the table and a maniacal gleam in his eye as he pounded cutlets, danced around the kitchen and yelled into the phone to Cherrie about how there was no way this was a real recipe. This was obviously an impossible obstacle course I had set up to teach him a lesson about how much I go through to cook dinner every night...
(Luckily, Cherrie had my back. Thanks Cherrie!)
It really is an easy recipe...and scrumptious...

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 6 ounces each
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon drained bottled capers, rinsed and chopped
1 cup of canned quartered artichoke hearts
Additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Thin slices lemon and chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

Sprinkle a small amount of water on a large plastic sheet of plastic wrap. Place the breast halves on top of the plastic and sprinkle again with water. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and pound with a rolling pin or meat pounder until about 1/4-inch thick.

Mix the flour with the salt and pepper in a shallow pie plate. Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Working in 2 batches, place the chicken in the flour mixture and turn to coat on all sides. Shake off the excess flour and add to the skillet. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate or platter and cover loosely with foil. Repeat with the remaining oil and chicken.

Pour off the fat from the skillet and return the skillet to the heat. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring to pick up and browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer, turning often, until warmed through and the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and the capers. Season with salt and pepper and heat just until the butter has melted. Serve on warmed plates with a spoonful of the skillet sauce, topped with lemon slices and parsley.

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