When I tried to look up an exact translation of the word piccata I couldn't find an easy answer. It could mean spike or to sting. Or touchy and irritable. It may also translate as tasty, piquant etc. I'm gonna go with the latter translation and take it from there.
No matter how Piccata is translated the dish is fairly easy to make and the results are soooo good. Served with a simple pasta on the side, some steamed or grilled vegetables, a nice crisp white wine and some crunchy sourdough bread to sop up the sauce, well, it's a no brainer. Cook this up for some friends and you'll look like a rock star. Mmmmmm.
Well, I did make chicken picatta, but instead of doing everything separately I mixed it all together with generous amounts of parm. So it's a little less refined, a bit more "rustic" it still tastes....
Chicken Piccata Pasta with Broccoli
For the Chicken:
2 Pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Flour for dredging
1/4 cup of butter
1 white onion - finely diced
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1 cup of white wine
1 can of chicken broth
Juice of 4-5 lemons
1/4 cup of capers - drained
salt and pepper
For the Pasta:
1 pkg. angel hair pasta
1 cup reserved cooking liquid
Zest if 4-5 lemons
2 cloves garlic - pressed
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiana Reggiano
Salt and Pepper
You'll also need 2 bunches of broccoli -steamed. I do it in the microwave when I'm in a hurry, stove top in the fancy steamer when I have time.
Take the chicken and place is in a large plastic bag or under plastic wrap.
With a kitchen mallet pound the breasts until they are flat and uniformly thin.
Place flour in a large shallow dish and season generously with salt and pepper and a bit of basil.
Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, shake off the excess and set aside.
In a large pan (I like to use my counter top skillet, no fuss, no muss) heat your olive oil and butter over medium heat until the butter begins to foam up.
Brown the chicken on both sides (about 1-2 minutes on each side) taking care not to over cook it. Remove the browned chicken to a platter and cover it to keep warm.
In the same pan add the garlic and onions to the pan.
Cook them until they are translucent being careful not to let them get brown.
Slowly add the white wine to deglaze the pan and let it simmer until the wine reduces by half.
Then add the chicken broth and lemon juice to pan and raise your heat to medium high. Check your seasonings and if needed add some salt and pepper to taste. Once it comes the mixture comes to a boil put the chicken back into the pan, lower your heat, cover and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through - 10 to 15 minutes.
While that cooks place your pasta in boiling water and let it cook according to the package.
Drain the pasta making sure to reserve some of the cooking liquid.
Place your pasta in a large bowl - add the reserved cooking liquid, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste and half of the grated cheese and mix well. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top - or you can reserve some to use table-side.
Meanwhile add the capers to the chicken for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. At this point you could serve the chicken as is. Quite delish!
Or you can cut the chicken into strips and place in the bowl with the pasta. Cut up the broccoli and add that as well.
A good crunchy bread is a must for sopping up the sauce. A glass of Sauvignon Blanc to go along with it doesn't hurt either.