The boneless, skinless chicken breast can be one of the dullest staples in the week-night cooking rotation, and its why it needs an ultra flavoursome sauce to carry it through. This piquant, lemony sauce is just the thing, and there is so much lip puckering zing going on, you don’t need too much of it either.
Chicken Piccata is a classic recipe and I’ve seen versions without capers and cream, but I adore the former so I would never consider leaving these out. You can play around with quantities here. I’ve added 2 full tablespoons of them, but more or less will work depending on your preference. I added the cream to make the sauce well – creamy, and I think it was needed to break through the acidity. I also chose creme fraiche but I think a thick regular cream might be better.
I normally bash a chicken breast into oblivion in order to flatten and even it out. This way it cooks a whole lot quicker without parts being raw and other parts becoming leathery bits. With this recipe I cut each breast in half through the middle and it was a great solution to getting smaller more even portions. I may start using this on all my quick breast recipes going forward, although there is something quite satisfying about pummeling raw flesh with a flat utensil.
The sauce may seem a little OTT when you taste it on its own, but trust me, when you eat it on your boring chicken breast, you will be wishing there was more.
* Cooks notes ~ I decided to wipe the pan down after the frying stage because I used a non stick pan and there were no exciting sticky bits to degalze. I didn’t want the almost burnt oily part in my sauce. But seriously you can do whatever you want. The timing is an intuitive thing. You want to cook the sauce enough until it thickens but not too much that it evapourates. There is a fine balance here. Once you’ve added the butter and cream things really start emulsifying and becoming unctuous.
Recipe – serves 2
- 2 skinless, bonless free-range chicken breasts
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup flour - well seasoned with salt and pepper for dredging
- 2 + 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 T olive oil
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp capers, drained of brine
- 4 - 6 Tblsp thick cream (or creme fraiche)
- small bunch flat leaf parsley, finley chopped
- Coat the chicken breasts thoroughly in the well seasoned flour flour and then dust off any excess.
- Heat 2 of the tablespoons of butter plus the oil in a non stick frying pan.
- As it starts to bubble, fry the breasts on both sides turning once until they are golden. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
- Wipe the pan down with kitchen paper and place it back on the heat.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, stock, white wine and lemon juice and allow this to bubble away until it reduced by about a third. Add the capers, half the chopped parsley and cream and stir until its well combined. Just as it starts to thicken, add the chicken breasts (plus any juice from the plate they were resting on) back into the pan and allow these to cook for a minute or two. Turn them over in the pan to ensure they are cooked through.
- Plate up the chicken and pour over the sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley as garnish
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