When I’m having a busy week and need to get dinner on the table, I turn to an easy one-skillet dish, Chicken Piccata. It’s delicious and requires a few ingredients that I usually keep on hand (or on a short shopping list to pick up).
In this classic Italian recipe, a simple sauce of butter, lemon juice, parsley and capers adds a punch of flavor to chicken breasts. I serve it with a simple side of steamed vegetables or a spinach salad. Depending on my mood, I’ll sometimes add chopped artichoke hearts or green olives to the sauce.
Pounding the chicken to an even thickness not only tenderizes the meat, but also reduces cook time and ensures even cooking throughout. I usually buy large packages of chicken breasts (to save money) and package them in zip-top bags for freezing (to save time and effort). I pull one bag out and put it in the refrigerator to defrost the day before I’m going to use it. Then, I use the bag to pound out the chicken. You can pound the chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap. I prefer the bag method so I’m not fighting with plastic wrap and don’t risk getting raw chicken juice on my cutting board.
This recipe makes 2 servings but you can easily double or triple it for a family meal.
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Chicken Piccata for Two
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped plus more for garnish
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 3/4 pounds
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, divided
In a small bowl stir together lemon juice, capers and parsley.
Put chicken breast in zip-top plastic bag or between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound into ¼-inch thickness. Dredge chicken in flour, patting off any excess.
In a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the butter until melted. Add chicken breasts to pan, sautéing until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken breasts to dinner plates.
Reduce heat to low and add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to pan. Stir until melted, add lemon juice mixture, continuing to stir until hot. Spoon sauce over each chicken breast and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from the National Chicken Council
Allison is a freelance recipe developer and food writer who honed her skills (and her chef’s knife) as the Senior Food Editor at Good Housekeeping magazine after graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan. She also spent time working in the kitchens of top New York City restaurants Café Boulud and Butter. Allison is now living and cooking in the Bay Area where she develops recipes and web content for Whole Foods Market and Driscoll’s Berries. She is also a consultant to the Center for Culinary Development in San Francisco, tracking and reporting on the latest food trends.
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