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Kitchen Adventures: Chicken Piccata, delicioso

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Food column by Becca Owsley

By Becca Owsley

Sometimes a girl just needs a little something Italian. At least this girl does.

My favorite cookbook for recipes that are pretty simple is Giada De Laurentiis’ “Everyday Italian.” There are so many great dishes to choose from but Chicken Piccata is the choice for this adventure.

I’ve only made this dish one other time and it was an interrupted meal. With the food still cooking on the stove, I received a phone call that a relative’s house had been destroyed by a tornado. The Chicken Piccata went into the fridge and was finished later. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out as it should have.

This time around, thankfully, there were no interruptions, except for the one time I had to stop and chase Boo the Labrador around the house because he stole the butter wrapper out of the trash can. Like most of us, he has an unhealthy attachment to butter.

The recipe is pretty straight forward and the directions are easy to follow so I didn’t make any changes to the preparation method.

One item some might not be familiar with is capers. Usually about the size of a pea, capers are the bud of the plant. Some varieties grow to the size of an olive.

Capers usually are pickled and are found in the grocery aisle near pickles and olives. More expensive brands can be found in the Italian food section. I just used the basic, cheaper version.

One change I made was in plating the dish. Instead of pouring the sauce over the chicken I placed a large spoonful on the plate and placed the chicken on top of it. When you are serving a dish to guests and are not sure if it meets their particular tastes, placing the meat on top of the sauce is a better way of serving it. That way guests can get a taste of the sauce, and if they like it can add more. If it doesn’t meet their taste, this plating method doesn’t smother meat.

This night I invited my mom over to dinner. Because mom is a fan of Italian, the dish suited her.

The Chicken Piccata was paired with bread, salad and light pasta tossed with olive oil, seasonings and parmesan cheese.

Chicken Piccata often is served over pasta, risotto or vegtable ribbons that look like noodles.

Any way you fix it, Chicken Piccata is delicious.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or  bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Chicken Piccata
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved crosswise
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
All- purpose flour, for dredging
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about two lemons)
1/4 cup drained capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour to coat lightly and set aside. In a large sauté pan, melt two tablespoons of butter with two tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the broth, lemon juice and capers to the same pan. Bring the broth mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan for extra flavor. Return the chicken to the pan and simmer until just cooked through, about five minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter.

Whisk the remaining two tablespoons of butter into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with parsley and serve.

Recipe from “Everyday Italian” by Giada De Laurentiis.