Once upon a time, there was a girl. She fell in love with a lemon chicken dish and they lived happily ever after together in culinary bliss.
What? You think I’m kidding? I’m totally not. I’m pretty sure that I could eat this dish for the rest of my life and never tire of it. In fact, I may just give that hypothesis a try. At least it’d be a delicious trial.
Chicken piccata and I have a very brief but passionate history. When I first met it only a few short weeks ago, my knowledge of it’s awesomeness was frail and limited. Fast forward a few weeks and three dinner preparations – my knowledge of it’s awesomeness is all-but fully realized. I. Love. Chicken. Piccata.
How else can I explain this love…
The lemon perks up my taste buds.
The crust on the chicken satisfies my deep desire for the perfect crisp.
The capers burst in my mouth with their distinct zing.
The sauce dribbles all over my plate, waking up my rice and vegetables with it’s buttery goodness.
Great. Now I’m drooling all over my computer again.
I’m sorry, forgive me, I don’t mean to be so dramatic about a simply flavored chicken dish. But drama is what naturally occurs when I eat this dish – I begin to melt from my chair, pooling on the floor in a state of sublime happiness. And by the way, this dish is very much enhanced by a small glass of one’s favorite vino.
Vino is Italian for wine.
I just said vino because it sounded fancier.
Fancy chicken dish. Fancy words for wine. It’s gettin’ all kinds of classy up here here.
You will need:
– 8 pastured chicken thighs or 4 pastured chicken breasts, halved width-wise (resulting in what’s referred to as “chicken cutlets”)
– 1/4 cup sprouted wheat flour OR unbleached, organic, all-purpose flour
– Sea salt and pepper (freshly ground is best)
– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 onion, minced (I do this in the food processor to really get it minced fine)
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/2 lemon, cut into thin slices
– 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
– 1 cup chicken stock (or water)
– 3 tablespoons butter
– 3 tablespoons capers
– Fresh parsley, optional, for topping
Step One: Pat the chicken thighs dry with a rag (I use these instead of paper towels). Sprinkle the flour over a baking pan. Place the chicken thighs on the floured baking sheet and gently move them around to coat them completely in the flour.
Step Two: Heat the olive oil up in a large pan. When the oil is shiny and hot, gently place each flour-coated chicken thigh down in the oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and add some freshly ground pepper. Allow the thighs to cook for five minutes, over medium-high heat, or until crisp and golden. Be carefully not to burn – but also make sure the pan is hot enough to really get a nice crust on the chicken. Turn the chicken over and allow the other side to cook for five minutes, or until golden, as well. Remove to baking dish and repeat with remaining chicken until it has all been cooked and browned accordingly.
Step Three: When all the chicken has been browned and moved to a baking dish, place it in a preheated 300 degree oven to continue cooking while we make up the sauce.
Step Four: Ready for the sauce? Great. Me too. So let’s focus our attention back on the chicken pan. Hello, chicken pan. We want to continue to use you because you have all that delicious browned chicken goodness stuck to your bottom. Color = flavor. And that’s what we want! So to the chicken pan, add in the minced onion and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes, or until just brown and soft.
Step Five: Once the onion and garlic is soft, pour in the chicken stock (yes, I’m using water… I ran out of stock! Just pretend it’s stock. Please and thank you.). Then, add in the lemon juice and lemon slices. Go ahead and add a small pinch of sea salt and some more black pepper at this point too. Smelling good, isn’t it?
Sorry. I didn’t meant to get aggressive. I just really, really love this dish.
Step Six: Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes, until slightly thick and sticky. Add in the capers, butter, and optional parsley.
Step Seven: Remove the cooked chicken from the oven. Right before serving (don’t do it too soon or it will make the chicken crust soggy), pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with more parsley, if desired.
Oh, dear me. It’s really incredibly how much flavor this dish packs with how few ingredients it uses. As always, using the best chicken and ingredients you can find really do make a difference in the resulting dish. Do the best you can, with what you have, where you are. (Who said that? Abraham Lincoln? Thomas Jefferson? I can’t remember. But if they were here, I’d make them this dish.)
I serve ours alongside homemade pasta or brown rice. Add in some fresh greens from the garden and all is well in my world.
I wish I had more chicken. I’d make this dish again right now.
Can I live vicariously through you until we get more chicken?
Now get cookin’.
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.
DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I appreciate the support and love y'all have shown this 'ol blog and will only recommend products that I use, love, or covet. The end.