Today’s Lunch: Chicken Piccata

A light, simple lunch.

I cranked out this tasty lunch the other day at work and my peeps loved it! I cooked some chicken breasts and made a simple piccata-style sauce to spoon over the top. I served it with some crispy little yukon gold potatoes and a salad of romaine, arugula, tomato, red cabbage, spinach, cucumber, crumbled egg, and a little manchego cheese.

Typically chicken or veal piccata starts with cutlets that are breaded with a little egg and flour mixture, but in the interest of keeping it lighter I eschewed that step and simply sautéed the chicken breasts. The tart and zesty drizzle is an herbed lemon-caper pan-sauce made in the same skillet the chicken was cooked in, which allows it to pick up some of those flavorings left in the pan from the chicken.

I’m not going to write out the recipe, I’m just gonna throw it at ya! I’m gonna move fast.

I preheated the oven to 350ºF and then I heated a non-stick, oven-ready skillet over high heat. I generously seasoned three chicken breasts with salt and pepper. When the pan was super-hot I swirled in about two tablespoons of vegetable oil. I added the chicken breasts and browned one side (about three minutes) and then flipped them. I cooked the other side another couple of minutes and then threw the pan into the oven. I baked the chicken for another five minutes and then pulled out the pan from the oven.

I took the chicken out of the pan and put the breasts on a plate and covered them with foil. I poured off most of the oil (leaving maybe a teaspoon in the pan) and then put the skillet back on the stove over medium-high heat. Into the pan I threw one minced garlic clove and about a tablespoon of minced shallot. I stirred that around for thirty seconds to soften the garlic and shallot and then I added two tablespoons of white wine. I scraped the bottom of the pan and boiled off the wine. I added a tablespoon of lemon juice and two tablespoons of capers.

I made a slurry of a half-cup of chicken broth with a tablespoon of corn starch whisked into it. I poured the slurry into the pan and combined everything with a whisk. I seasoned the sauce with more salt and pepper and added about a tablespoon of minced parsley and a teaspoon of minced chives. I brought the sauce up to boil to thicken it and reduce it and then I whisked in a tablespoon of room temperature.

I killed the heat and put the chicken breasts (and any collected juices) back into the pan, turning them to coat them with the piccata–style sauce. I put the chicken on a plate with the potatoes and the salad and then drizzled a bit of sauce over the top of the chicken.

Viola! Lunch is served!


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