I don’t eat chicken that often, but when I do, this is one of my favorite dishes. It looks so simple on the surface but so many flavors lurk within, and it’s always so satisfying. I’ve never really had a go-to recipe for it, though, and it always seemed silly to order chicken in a restaurant when there are so many more complex dishes and new cuisines to try when ordering out. Plus, chicken? Put it right alongside pasta and risotto as having the biggest markups of any food you could order in a restaurant.
Well, now I’ve lost my fear of doing Chicken Piccata right, and thanks to one of my first Blue Apron deliveries way back when, I now have a date-night dish that I whip up for just Mark and I to feel special without any of the hassle I was expecting.
Chicken Piccata for Two
- 2 Chicken Cutlets
- 6 Ounces Fresh Linguine
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Bunch Garlic Chives
- 1 Organic Lemon
- 1 Large Bunch Parsley
- 3 TBSP Chicken Demi-Glace (reduced stock)
- 3 TBSP Flour
- 2 TBSP Butter
- 2 TBSP Capers
- 2 TBSP grated Parmesan Cheese
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of water to boiling on high. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Cut the garlic chives into ½-inch pieces. Zest the rind, then quarter and deseed the lemon. Pick the parsley off the stems, discarding. Thinly slice half the parsley, keeping the rest whole. Rough-chop the capers.
Separate the strands of the pasta by hand and add to the pot of boiling water. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ¾ cup of the cooking water, thoroughly drain the cooked pasta; rinse under cold water to prevent sticking. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Rinse and wipe out the pot.
While the pasta cooks, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the flour on a plate. Coat the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess. In a medium nonstick pan, heat 2 tsp olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the coated chicken and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and add half the butter. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
To the pan of browned chicken, add the chicken demi-glace, capers, sliced parsley, the juice of 2 lemon wedges and ¼ cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, occasionally swirling the pan, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly; season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside in a warm place.
In the pot used to cook the pasta, heat 2 tsp olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic, garlic chives and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown and the garlic chives are bright green.
To the pot of aromatics, add the cooked pasta, Parmesan cheese, remaining butter and ½ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through and the sauce is slightly reduced in volume. If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency (I usually use all of it). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide the finished pasta between 2 dishes. Top each with a finished chicken cutlet. Garnish with the whole parsley leaves and remaining lemon wedges. Enjoy!
Want to make it vegetarian? Try using Seitan instead of chicken.
Miss that white wine flavor of many piccatas? Deglaze the pan of chicken with a splash before proceeding to add the next ingredients.
Can’t get enough lemon taste? Squeeze the quarters over the dish before plating instead of just using as a garnish. That’s what I did.
Need some more veggies? Serve a salad alongside.
Chicken cutlets too thick for your liking? Pound them flatter before cooking.
This takes me under an hour start to finish (probably around 40 minutes total) and is a stress-free recipe that turns out a special dish. I hope you get a chance to try it soon.
Georgia and I are going away for Labor Day and will be back shortly after, hopefully with lots of fun pictures. See you then!