I’ve always loved Chicken Piccata. I mean, what’s not to love? It’s got garlic, lemon, wonderfully briny capers, wine (or sherry, as I’ve used here), and beautifully moist, juicy, and flavorful chicken to soak it all up. I never thought it could be improved until I started working at a catering company in the 90s where this dish was often requested for luncheons and other events. A chef with whom I was working decided to try something different. She had some pesto leftover from another party and spooned a couple of spoonfuls into the piccata sauce. What a revelation! The pesto took this sauce from delicious to mind-blowingly, scrumptiously out-of-this-world! I’ve been making chicken piccata like this ever since.
I took a piccata hiatus for several years – mostly because I was experimenting with new and different foods – but also because I was suffering from a bit of piccata burnout. It was several years before I could think about making it again. But here’s the thing: chefs experiment, and they get a little wild and crazy with their work; but, at the end of the day, they just want a nice home-cooked dinner. Comfort food is where it’s at. If any chef tells you they don’t like such things, don’t believe them! (And you can tell them I said so!)
This dish is extremely simple. Here are the steps.
Season some flour: (I’ve listed my suggestions below, but you can use whatever you want)
Dredge the chicken: (Oops! I forgot to sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken before I took the picture. Make sure to do that!)
Brown the chicken (in equal parts oil and unsalted butter) on both sides until golden:
Remove chicken from pan, make sauce, and return chicken to pan to finish cooking:
And so, I present to you: an old standard made new again. A tried-and-true favorite with a nice little twist. If you’ve forgotten about chicken piccata, make this dish and see if it doesn’t get you excited again about piccata.
Chef’s note: this dish tastes wonderful with rice pilaf on the side and some garlic-sautéed green beans with toasted almonds and a little minced lemon zest. Other suggestions can be found at the end of the recipe. Print it now and try it this week! Don’t forget to send me some feedback after you’ve made it!