Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lemon Chicken Piccata

I don't know about you but after a holiday season of relative gluttony overindulgence, I am ready to eat a bit more sensibly.  It was my turn to cook on Wednesday and, I thought, what could I make that is easy, delicious and somewhat light?  

I get a daily recipe email from  Some recipes don’t appeal to me and get immediately deleted but others get filed away, like this recipe for Lemon Chicken Piccata.  

Chicken Piccata is a protégé of the Italian dish, Veal Piccata.  Piccata is simply a method preparing meat that is pounded thin, sliced, coated, sautéed and served with a sauce. The meat is traditionally dredged in flour then browned in butter or olive oil. The drippings are used to make a sauce with lemon juice, white wine, butter and capers that is poured over the browned beauties.  This version uses Ritz Crackers instead of flour and chicken broth instead of white wine, although white wine could be easily substituted.

A word about capers.  Although they taste like olives and are frequently substituted for olives in drinks and recipes, capers are not a member of the olive family.  They are the mature lemony-tart buds of an evergreen bush common in the Mediterranean that are picked and preserved in wine vinegar.     I skipped the harvesting and pickling part and just picked the jar right off the supermarket shelf.

Lemon Chicken Piccata

3 large lemons, divided
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
¼ cup  KRAFT Reduced Fat Mayonnaise
22 RITZ Crackers, finely crushed, about 1 cup (I used wheat Ritz Crackers)
2 Tbsp. olive oil (I used Meyer Lemon Olive Oil)
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
½ cup chicken broth
1Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. capers

Cut 4 thin lemon slices from half of 1 lemon; squeeze juice from remaining lemons. Coat chicken with mayo, then cracker crumbs.

Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 min. Turn; cook on medium heat 5 min. or until chicken is golden brown on both sides and done (165ºF). Transfer chicken to platter; sprinkle with parsley. Cover to keep warm. Carefully wipe the skillet clean of big crumbs with a paper towel. Don’t clean the skillet too well because you want some of the browning residue to flavor the sauce.  

Add lemon juice and broth to skillet; cook on medium-high heat 6 to 8 min. or until slightly reduced, stirring occasionally. Add butter, lemon slices and capers; cook and stir on low heat 3 to 4 min. or until butter is melted and lemons are heated through. Serve over chicken.

This dish was delicious…lemony, light and low calorie* just what I was looking for.  We also had a wonderful French red wine, La Frande, 2011 Cotes Du Rhone, and a refreshing salad of greens, oranges and pistachios served in the lovely traveling salad bowl.  To end the evening, we (nearly) finished the leftover – but mouthwatering nonetheless – tiramisu that Foodie made for New Year’s Eve.

*About 300 calories per fist-sized serving.

1 comment:

Marie said...

WOW, I am literally drooling after reading your recipe for Chicken piccata......It sounds so good I could eat it for breakfast. :) Thanks for the visit at our Homestead, it's been a pleasure.