Chicken Piccata

I’m going to make a bold statement here.  This might be (and I’m using the word might because I’m typing this rather hastily), might be, my favorite recipe on this blog.

Why?? Well, since you’re asking, because it’s:
1.     Very tasty
2.     Very easy
3.     Very fast
4.     Very accessible
5.     Very not-just-everyday-chicken
6.     Very fancy tasting
7.     Very pretty
8.     Very loved by my husband
There. 8 reasons why this is at the top of my favorites list, if not the top.  Seriously, special-tasting dinners that are so easy and fast to make are hard to come by, so everyone should have this in their repertoire.  And if you’re wondering what I mean by accessible, I mean that you probably have a lot of these ingredients in your house at any given time. I don’t, but you do if you’re the Pioneer Woman or Ina Garten.
Also I would like to add that I never thought I would fully back anything with a lemon sauce.  But, I guess times have changed.  Piccata sauce typically doesn’t have mushrooms or sour cream in it, but they both seemed like a good idea to me. And piccata sauce typically does have capers in it, but I didn’t have any.  Those silly things would make the recipe a little less accessible.
·       2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
·       ½ cup flour
·       1 egg, beaten
·       ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
·       2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
·       S&P
·       3-4 tablespoons oil
·       2 tablespoons butter
·       1 cup white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
·       Juice from 1 large lemon (more if you like a stronger lemon flavor)
·       ¼ teaspoon salt
·       1 cup mushrooms
·       2 tablespoons sour cream
·       Parsley (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400. 
The key to good browned, breaded chicken is to pound it/cut it into very thin pieces. I cut my chicken in half horizontally (so it was half the thickness), then pounded it to about ¼- ½ inch thickness.  Mix the flour with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in one bowl, beaten egg in another, and mix the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in a third. Next, dredge the chicken in flour, shaking the excess off.  Then dip it in the egg (dripping off excess), then the bread crumbs.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once hot, brown each piece of chicken, about two minutes on each side. Place the chicken on a baking sheet, and bake the chicken for about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Gently wipe out the skillet you made the chicken in and keep the heat around medium. Add a touch of olive oil. Add the two tablespoons of butter and melt.  Add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a low boil. Add the mushrooms and salt. Let the sauce reduce by half, about 10 minutes.  The next step is to add the sour cream, but it can be tricky to keep it from curdling (mine did a little because I was rushing, but don't worry it doesn't ruin the flavor). Remove the sauce from heat, and place the sour cream in a separate bowl. Spoon a bit of the sauce into the sour cream to temper it (so it is no longer cold).  Then whisk the sour cream/wine mixture into the sauce and keep stirring to fully incorporate (you could also do just another tablespoon of butter here, but I like the thickness the sour cream adds).  Bring it back to a low boil to thicken, then remove from heat. Add in a few tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley.
Serve the chicken over pasta, and top with sauce (I served with steamed broccoli too!).

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