Idea for this meal came to me at the school parking lot.Did you just raise your brow?Me and my friend Breanna happen to cross each other’s path in school parking lot,on the way to pick up kids from the school.We hadn’t seen each other in a little while,so we were catching up for like 5-8 mins and it ended up at ‘Chicken Piccata’.You must be wondering how could that fit in such brief,hurried conversation,well leave that to me.
I don’t know where the inspiration for everyday cooking will come to me.It could be something I saw in commercials in the middle of games or bill boards and restaurants driving by or aroma which fills my senses cruising around malls,joints and such and in this case,conversation I was having with a friend..point is it could come from anywhere in most discreet ,subtle way.The fact that despite of trying hard,I am not much of a menu planner and can’t stick to one,those images conjure up while I am thinking about what to cook for dinner and sets the table for the evening for us.
So whats in the name?
This dish has Italian heritage.’Piccata’ (Pi-ka-ta)in Italian cooking context means ,flatten it out by pounding.It sorta looks like big chicken cutlet dredged in flour and topped with sauce.This is how I cooked mine.It was big hit in my family with kids and hubby alike.I loved the ‘tang’ this dish has.
- 2 chicken Breast
- 1/4 -1/2 cup flour
- salt and pepper to season
- 1/4 tsp dried Oregano(Optional)
- 4-5 Button Mushroom
- 1/4 chopped onion
- 1/2 Lemon Juice
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2-3/4 cup chicken stock
- Butterfly the chicken or put the chicken in a Ziploc bag and pound it flat until thin.
- Season the flour with salt,pepper and oregano.Dredge the chicken pieces in flour.
- In a pan,heat oil and once hot,add the chicken.Cook on both sides until done.
- Top the chicken with the mushroom sauce.Serve it with pasta or dish of your choice.
- Once all the chicken is out,in the same pan,add little more oil,if there is not enough.Add mushroom and onions.Saute it until translucent.Add flour and cook it.
- Add chicken stock.Turn the heat high until it boils.Simmer it down and thicken it to the desired consistency.
- I butterflied the chicken because I was being lazy to pound it and it was still thick.I was also impatient for it to cook in pan.So I browned the chicken and set it to cook in an oven.
- While chicken was cooking,I used the pan to make a sauce.By the time sauce was ready,chicken was done too.
- Capers (little flower buds in salty brine,common in Italian cooking) is very essential element of this dish.But noone is crazy about it in my house,so I left it alone.If you are using capers,watch out for the salt,since capers are salty with brine.
- Oregano are optional I say but I like to use it,love the aroma it adds to the dish.You can use thyme, rosemary if it doesn’t overwhelm you.Rub it against your palms when you are adding it to the flour.This breaks it down and releases the aroma.
- Butterflying the chicken simply means,run your knife laterally through the middle of the chicken and gently slice it open.It looks sorta like butterfly,once opened up,well you get the picture.It thins the chicken piece and quickens the cooking process.
- This dish is famous for its lemony ‘tang’,we like the ‘tang’ subtly in our house,so I used only 1/2 of small lemon juice,you can add more or less per your taste buds.
- I like to dredge the chicken for piccata in egg white-panko even though traditionally it is dredged in ‘flour’ when I have more patience.
- You can use water instead of broth/stock.
- You can make sauce creamier by adding half and half, heavy cream instead of water.