~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Monday, April 26, 2010

Chicken Picatta...Quick Dinners PART 1

Chicken Picatta...Quick dinners PART 1 You know, sometimes I want a quick dinner that doesn't involve too much planning nor does it take too long to prepare. I still want to make a nice meal, though...a meal that is tasty and still looks appealing. I often use chicken breasts ...they are leaner and cook rather quickly. So, I thought I would share a few recipes that don't involve too much planning and prepping. It makes a quick dinner in less than an hour(+/-) and is ideal for busy nights.
All of the dishes I will be sharing with you(there are 3 parts) use chicken breasts as the protein....but you can probably use veal or pork if you like.
The technique is basic...it involves 5 steps (my own)
1. You dredge the meat in flour
2. You saute the meat till brown
3. You remove the meat and deglaze the pan with some sort of liquid( usually wine...though you can use stock)
4. You place the meat back in the pan and add any additional ingredients while you cook the meat for an additional minute or so(this also releases some of the flour from the meat and thickens the sauce).
5. Finally, you remove the meat and finish the sauce with butter/cream and any garnishes.

I tried this recipe for chicken picatta recently as well as a couple of other recipes. They all involve the same technique, yet the result was different each time.
This dish was was inspired by a Cuisine-at-Home magazine. I happened to pick it up one day and started leafing through it. I noticed this chicken picatta recipe...it looked very easy. So I thought I would share it with you. I know it is a classic dish that many of you might have done before, but maybe...just maybe... some of you haven't tried it yet. So I am posting it, in hopes that you will like this dish as well. If you don't care for lemon, you can use orange instead. I have seen another variation where orange juice and orange slices are substituted. It was called Orange Picatta:)...never tried it though, but it sounds delicious. But if you are doing this lemon version, you can easily decrease the amount of lemon juice, especially if you are making it for kids. The lemon juice can be a bit overpowering. I noticed that the recipe didn't yield too much sauce. It could have been that I let the stock cook too long while I was fiddling with the camera. My battery died and I needed to stop to let it charge before taking the next photo. Yes, sometimes the battery runs out on me in the middle of the recipe! That is not good...but I do the best I can to take the step-by-step photos. Sometimes my recipe suffers in the process:)... Anyway, in case you notice that you don't have liquid in the sauce, just add a bit more stock....maybe another 1/4 cup.
Next time, I would like to share with you Part 2 of the quick dinners using chicken. Hope you enjoy...

You will need: adapted from a Cuisine-At-Home magazine
4 chicken cutlets( you will notice I used 3...)
2 TBS oil
1/4 cup dry white wine(or chicken stock)
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock( I use homemade)
2 TBS fresh lemon juice(if you are not a lemon fan decrease to 1 TBS)
1 TBS capers, drained
2 TBS butter
fresh lemon slices
chopped parsley for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
flour for dusting chicken

Get all your ingredients ready in close proximity...this always helps the recipe to go smoother.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. If your chicken breast is thick, you might want to pound it a bit to make it thinner. It will cook much faster. Dredge the chicken in flour and shake off excess flour.
Add oil in a saute pan and heat on med-high. Saute chicken 2-3 minutes on one side.
Turn chicken on second side, cover pan, and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a warm plate. Pour off fat...if you have any.
Deglaze pan with wine( or chicken stock if using). Add garlic. Cook until the garlic is just brown(don't overcook as it will become bitter) another minute or so.
Add 1/2 cup broth( if you want a bit more sauce in the final stage you can add a bit more stock) and lemon juice. Add the capers as well.
Return the browned chicken and cook on each side for 1 minute.
Transfer the chicken (again:)) unto a warm plate( your serving plate). Add butter and lemon slices to the sauce in the skillet. Cook until the butter melts.
Once the butter melts, add the sauce and lemon slices over the chicken cutlets.
Sprinkle some chopped parsley.(which I didn't have at the time...)


Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Looks delicious! I love these types of meals, quick and easy for the cook, tasty and satisfying for the diners, its a win/win!

I hear you on the battery/food/recipe sacrifice. One of these days I'm going to get a 2nd battery for my camera so I have it ready to go, you know, when the battery dies in the middle of a carefully timed reduction. Your photos turned out wonderfully as I want to eat this chicken thru the screen :)

Ellie said...

Andrea, Aww.. thanks for your sweet comment. I really appreciate it!
The second battery sounds like a great idea! I get so frustrated sometimes when in the middle of a recipe it dies on me...I should be more organized and make sure it is charged before I start the recipe:)...Thanks for stopping by.~Ellie

Alisa-Foodista said...

Just made this today and my son loved it!He's a picky eater and Im glad he loved this dish. I used orange juice and I'll definitely make this again!Thank you for sharing your quick dinners!

Ellie said...

Alisa, Thank you for your feedback on the chicken picatta. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. I am so glad you liked the dish...even better that your son liked it! Great to know that orange juice worked for you.

It's always neat to know that I have inspired someone else...just as someone else has inspired me! You made my day:)...so, thank you.