Friday, February 26, 2010

Chicken Piccata

Maybe there are 2 t's in that? Piccatta? Is it Italian? Who cares. This is lunch in 20 minutes.

3-5 chicken tenders
some butter
some flour
salt and pepper
1 or 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
half cup of chicken stock
some capers

served with papardelle and peas

Dude! This recipe has no cheese! That puts it in the minority of non-asian dishes I find satisfying. No onions or garlic either; that's something.

I prep the chicken tenders a few days in advance because I start with frozen. I salt & pepper the frozen chicken, drizzle on a dab of olive oil and leave it covered in the fridge until I want it.

Start the water for the noodles.

Pull the tough white things out of the tenders if you like. Makes them easier to eat. Heat a skillet to medium-high. Roll the chicken in flour and melt a pat of butter in the pan. Brown the chicken on each side. Tenders will take about 1 minute for each side!

Somewhere in here, the water will boil. Throw in the noodles. I cooked 'em til they were about 3/4 done, then dumped in the peas too. Less clean up.

When the meat is cooked, set it aside, and add the stock, capers and lemon juice to the pan, along with another little pat of butter. Taste it- if it is too sour for you, add a little more stock to thin it, and a tiny pinch of sugar. Bring it to a boil and it should thicken up. Turn the heat off and wait for the noodles if you need to. If you don't, then just before you serve it, chop up the parsley and add it to the sauce. If you're by yourself, I wouldn't blame you if you were to throw the noodles and chicken into the pan and eat from the skillet. I assure you, it is just as tasty that way, but I did want a slightly fancier picture to show you all.

Notes: fresh lemon juice. I keep lemons frozen for practicality, but nuking them to get the juice out also gets a lot of the bitter oils from the rind into the juice. It's ok, but given my druthers... Don't be tempted to put the parsley in too soon. The acid in the lemon juice will start to make it go all brown after about 9 seconds. Really.  When  flouring the chicken, really press it in. You want a good coating; enough to give a bit of crispyness but not enough to resemble breading. The flour that falls off and stays in the pan is what thickens the sauce later. And dagbone, I meant to brown some mushrooms in it! Oh well, next time.

"...I love my chicken...You got to know your chicken..."

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