Piccata is a method of cooking where you “butterfly” or flatten poultry or meat. You then coat it with flour, eggs or bread crumbs and sauté in a pan with oil. A white wine butter, caper sauce is made in the pan and poured over the delicious crisp chicken cutlet. The recipe that I’m sharing today I learned from a sous-chef named Carlos twenty-one years ago while worker at Markers in downtown Jersey City. Since then, I put this dish on the menu at three restaurants and it was among the most popular dishes. The sun-dried tomato gives a sweetness and the butter sauce with the added cream creates a much richer dish than traditionally created. My Chicken Piccata Recipe…
4 7oz Chicken Breast
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tbls of dry oregano
5 cloves of garlic (pealed)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of All Purpose Flour
8 large eggs(mixed well)
3 cups Canola or Corn Oil
1 small red onion or 3 shallots (peeled and ruff chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (Peeled and crushed)
2 dry bay leaves
2 cups dry white wine
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3/4 pound sweet butter (cold)
1 pint and 2 cups Heavy cream
1 Tbls of fresh lemon juice
3/4 Cup sundried tomato
1/2 Cup Capers
2 teaspoon of white pepper
1. remove chicken tenders from the back of the chicken breast. You can use them for some chicken fingers or schnitzel. This is the piece on the inside of the breast partially separated.
2. With a sharp knife, horizontally slice each chicken breast in half. Now you will have 8 thin chicken breast. Place each piece between plastic wrap or parchment paper. Using a kitchen mallet slightly pound chicken so it becomes evenly flat. (don’t overdo it or the chicken will rip apart. If chicken slightly rips that is ok.) Place chicken in a shallow container.
3. Place garlic, lemon juice, olive oil in a blender and puree until garlic is fully pureed and resembles vinaigrette.
4. Toss vinaigrette with chicken. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour or more.
5. While chicken is marinating, add garlic, bay leaves, onion, pepper corns, rosemary and white wine to a sauce pan. Simmer until all the wine has evaporated. While wine is reducing. Chop butter into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a bowl and return to refrigerator.
6. Julienne the sundried tomato and cover with hot water until soft. Drain water and add capers to tomatoes and set aside on stove. When wine has evaporated. Add heavy cream and reduce down until you have a pint. Strain cream of spices and vegetables. Return cream to heat in the same pot for another 30 seconds. Discard vegetables and spices. Remove from heat and use a Wisk to emulsify the butter about 4 pieces at a time until all butter is incorporated and sauce is thick. Sit pot in a warm water bath, add sundried tomato, capers and lemon juice and stir.
7. Pre-heat oven to 375. Remove chicken from refrigerator.
8. Setup up your station with chicken, flour (season with salt and pepper) an mixed eggs in that order. Place a baking sheet next to the eggs.
9. In a sauté pan, heat canola oil to 325 degrees. Take breast and slightly toss in flour, then dredge in egg mixture. Fry, until slightly golden on both sides. Then place the chicken on the baking sheet and roast in the oven until fully cooked through.
10. When chicken is done, divide on plates and top with sauce. Serve with greens, risotto or your favorite sides.
Cooking Notes: Chicken is cooked at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. A digital thermometer is a great help in any home kitchen. It is mandatory in all NYC restaurants. Not only does it allow you to know the proper internal temperatures of food so you will not get sick. It helps so you won’t over cook the food and it becomes dry.
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