You know how you make something a million times and then forget about it for 5 years? Yeah, that is what happened with chicken piccata. I used to make it at least once a week and then it fell out of the rotation. And that makes me sad because it is so delicious and quick. Not only that, it is incredibly versatile. Once you learn how make chicken cutlets, you can make about a thousand different variations. Chicken Parmesan. cutlets with arugula and shaved parm with a squeeze of lemon.
And kids love it. I have yet to meet a kid that doesn’t love a chicken cutlet. Okay, I can think of one, but she doesn’t like anything.
This is an easy weeknight meal, but also perfect for date night, or impressing some guests. It seems fancy, but really, it includes ingredients that you probably have at home. I serve mine with pasta that has had one quick turn in the pan sauce. Rice is also great with this. I also like to add a good helping of steamed green beans.
2 – 4 chicken breasts, split in half
2 cups bread crumbs
salt and pepper
1 stick butter
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup parsley
The down side to making cutlets is that it can be a little messy, but I have learned to make the clean up easier. I take a grocery bag and cut it so that it becomes like a bowl. Sometimes, I do this with foil, even the eggs. Get everything set up and then start on the chicken.
Take the chicken breast and hold your hand on top of it. Slice it in half.
Lay the chicken pieces between two sheets of wax paper. And then pound it with a tenderizer or rolling pin until it is very thin.
You do this because it cuts the cooking time. The outside stays crispy and not burnt, and the inside cooks through.
Now you have all 3 parts. Once you start doing this, you don’t really want to stop. So it is easier to get everything ready ahead of time. Season the eggs and breadcrumbs with salt and pepper.
Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, then completely coat in the breadcrumbs.
I like to line a baking sheet with foil and lay the chicken breasts out. You can keep these in the fridge for a few hours until you are ready to cook them.
Heat a saute pan over medium high heat, and melt a few tablespoons of butter and a few tablespoons of olive oil. Let this get hot, test by dropping some breadcrumbs into the pan, when it sizzles, it is ready.
Cook each side for about 3 minutes. The crust should be golden brown.
Keep these in a very low oven, 300 degrees, while you work on the sauce.
Ideally, you will have browned bits leftover from cooking the chicken. I burnt a piece, so I had to clean out my pan. Hopefully, you will still have some bits leftover. Heat another tablespoon of butter.
Add the lemon juice, chicken stock, and capers.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Add a pat of butter to mellow out the sauce. Check for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
Pour the sauce over the chicken. Serve with rice or pasta and some green vegetables.