My best friend is about to head off to Italy with her family and I am so jealous. I haven’t had a holiday this year and it has been a crazy few months. I would love a break. Plus Italy! (sigh) I will have to live vicariously through her photos for now. And of course eating Italian food.
When I think Italian, pasta and pizza immediately springs to mind but of course that is doing Italian food a major disservice. It is a much more diverse cuisine than was perhaps suggested by Italian restaurants in the 1970s but it is hard to move on from those childhood memories.
But this recipe for chicken piccata will certainly help with moving those memories on. It is an adaption of two chicken piccata recipes, a super healthy version from 100 Days of Real Food and a much more buttery one from Red Shallot Kitchen. I made both of these original recipes before coming up with what I think is the middle ground. The super healthy version was delicious but after tasting the full butter version, I just felt it was lacking a little something (ie fat…) The buttery version was very tasty but at about 510 calories shows off its buttery roots. I figured if I could trim so calories while not losing the flavor I thought it would be worth the effort. The super healthy 100 days of real food version has only about 260 calories so I thought a compromise would be possible. Without too much effort I got it down to 405 calories. Not super low but when served with a small salad or jacket potato, not horrendous.
Oh and did I mention that it looks like a fancy pants recipe that you can use to impress but is surprisingly easy and quick to make?
It is a reasonably salty dish thanks to the capers but the chicken broth and the chicken make sure this is not overpowering. The lemon juice adds an extra depth to the flavours that I love. You first get a hit of caper and then it mellows with the cream and chicken and then the lemon just cleans off the palette. Perfect!
A quick Italian chicken dish with loads of flavour.
- 130g of chicken breast, skinless and boneless
- 1 tbs of plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 tbs of olive oil
- 1 tbs butter
- 1/2 tsp of minced garlic (about half a clove)
- 1/2 tbs of capers, drained
- 2 tbs of dry white wine
- 1/4 cup of chicken stock
- 1 tbs of lemon juice
- 1 tsp of chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- The first step is to flatten your chicken breast so that it is about 1 cm thick. To do this, I wrap my chicken in cling wrap (plastic wrap) and then use a rolling pin to flatten it. You can use a meat tenderizer but I do this so rarely I don't want an extra thing cluttering up my kitchen and the rolling pin works fine.
- Pop the flour in the bowl with salt and pepper to taste.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour until it is coated all over, shaking off any excess flour.
- Melt half a tablespoon of olive oil and half a tablespoon of butter in a skillet in medium high. Make sure the pan isn't too big so you have a nice coat of oil and butter to fry the chicken.
- Pop the chicken in the pan and fry until the chicken is cooked trough and lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes each side.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Add half a tablespoon of butter to the skillet along with the garlic and capers. Add the lemon juice, white wine and chicken stock and deglaze the pan. You want to make sure you get up all the crispy chicken bits that have stuck to the pan and mix them in.
- Bring everything to the boil.
- Return the chicken breast to the skillet and cook until the sauce has reduced by about one quarter - a couple of minutes
- Have a taste of the sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once cooked transfer to your plate and garnish with the parsley.