"The tradition of Italian cooking is that of the matriarch. This is the cooking of grandma. She didn't waste time thinking too much about the celery. She got the best celery she could and then she dealt with it."--Mario Batali


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This recipe for CHICKEN PICCATA, by , is from Equity, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Adam Compton
Added: Tuesday, September 25, 2007


1 lb. Thinly sliced or pounded flat chicken breasts
2 c. flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c. Italian breadcrumbs (Progresso is good)
1-2 c. olive oil (enough to fill shallow sauté pan ½ inch deep)
½ c. grated parmesan cheese
3 cloves chopped garlic
1-1 ½ c. white cooking wine (found in with olive oils and vinegars in super market)
3 tbsp. capers
2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
½ stick butter
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon
4 tbsp. flour
1 lb. pasta

Breading the Chicken:
Wash chicken in cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Pour 2 cups flour onto large plate.
Dredge chicken one at a time in flour until completely coated. Dipped floured chicken into lightly beaten eggs until completely coated.
Dip chicken into breadcrumbs until completely coated. Set aside.

Frying the Chicken:
Using a shallow sauté pan large enough to hold at least 2 pieces of chicken at a time, pour in enough olive oil so that the oil pools to approximately ½ inch deep. Medium high heat until oil pops when a single drop of water hits the hot oil. Place chicken into hot oil in a single layer. A ¼ - ½ inch thick piece of chicken should seem to “float”in hot oil bubbles. Cooking time is approximately 3 minutes per side, or until breading becomes light brown and crispy. Cooked chicken pieces should be placed temporarily on paper towel to drain excess oil and then into serving dish. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and cover with tin foil.

Preparing the Sauce:
Once all chicken pieces have been fried, the oil bath should contain excess particles of the cooked chicken and breadcrumbs from cooking process. About half of the original oil should still remain from the original amount. Toss in chopped garlic and allow to cook rapidly in the hot oil. When pieces show first signs of brown, quickly move to next step. Slowly add cup of white wine – note the oil may ‘leap’ when wine first hits the oil. Take care to add the wine slowly. Ultimately, the oil and wine mixture should boil rapidly for approximately 3 minutes. The smell should be tangy and slightly sour.
Add capers.
Cook another minute.
Add 1 cup of chicken/vegetable broth
Boil for 3 minutes
Add ½ cup of chicken/vegetable broth
Boil for 3 minutes.
Add butter, cook until butter is melted.
Add lemon and stir.
Taste – flavor should be tangy but smooth. Add salt to taste. Add butter or touch of milk if too tangy/sour.
Add ½ cup of very cold water to remaining chicken/vegetable broth. Wisk 4 tbls. flour until white and smooth like milk.
Thickening : Use wisk to slowly add milky flour/water/broth mixture to hot piccata sauce. Wisk rapidly to avoid clumps. Continue to add milky mixture slowly until sauce is consistency of gravy.

Bed of pasta, with chicken breast on top, sauce over the top. Excellent with asparagus or sautéed spinach.
2 long French baguettes, as thin as you can find, uncut on the table will invite ‘ripping and dipping’ by your guests.

Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
**Chicken Piccata is commonly on Italian menus, although its origin is French. The word “piccata” comes from the French word “piquer” meaning “to sting.” The tangy lemon, wine, and caper flavor grabs the back of the palate while the velvety smoothness of the buttery chicken warms the front. A chilled French Sancerre white ($15-$20) will complete the experience.




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