A wicked off-season cold has been the reason for my online radio silence the last few days – sorry about that. But I’m finally feeling human again, so I’m back at it. It’s nice to “see” y’all and I hope everyone is doing well!
When I’m feeling sickly, my appetite is a bit more fickle than usual. For whatever reason, I am craving, big time, this chicken dish. I always called it lemon chicken, thinking how funny it was that it tasted just like chicken piccata. Well silly me, that’s because it is chicken piccata. ha!
Anyway, this particular recipe comes from a neighborhood friend of my mum’s. I’ll give you a little background story, because actually, I think this is a great idea for anyone who lives in a neighborhood; a way to get to know and support your neighbors. The residents of my mum’s little South Carolina neighborhood have an email chain that gets activated when someone is in need – they are sick, have recently had a baby, have had surgery and are recovering – that kind of thing. The email goes out and a schedule is made as to who is going to provide meal(s) for what days, so the person in need has one less thing to worry about. And you know what, they all pull through! It’s really great. My mum happened to be having surgery at a time I was scheduled to be home and the people of the neighborhood came around with dinner, every single day. It was great! Some was homemade, some was store bought. It didn’t matter though, it was simply a relief not to have to worry about cooking. And man did we eat well!
My absolute favorite dish that was brought to our door was this lemon chicken. Two healthy portions were delivered, and the chicken was served with rice and some steamed green beans. Perfection! If I remember correctly, I may have hogged both portions and given my mum leftovers out of the fridge. Selfish? Maybe, but I say it’s simply a testament to the deliciousness that is this dish.
So whether you’re cooking for yourself, a loved one or a neighbor in need, give this dish a try – it’s sure to please! (I had no intention of busting out a rhyme there, but it works, so I’ll go with it!)
Lemon Chicken (Piccata)
serves 4 (unless you hog it all like me)
3 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1/2-inch medallions
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or as needed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup low sodium chicken broth (or you can use 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup white wine)
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1. Preheat oven to 200ºF (95ºC). Place a serving platter in the oven to warm.
2. Season the chicken breast pieces with salt and pepper and dredge them in flour. Shake off excess flour. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet; pan-fry chicken pieces until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Work in batches and do not crowd the skillet, adding oil as needed. Place the chicken pieces onto the warmed platter in the oven. When finished with all the chicken, drain most of the oil from the skillet, leaving a thin coating on the surface of the pan.
3. Cook and stir the minced garlic in the skillet until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Pour in the chicken broth (and wine if using). Scrape and dissolve any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet (also called deglazing the pan). Stir in the lemon slices and bring the mixture to a boil. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces to about 2/3 cup, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the lemon juice and capers; simmer until the sauce is reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes more. Drop the butter into the skillet and swirl it into the sauce by tilting the skillet until the butter is melted and incorporated. Add the parsley; remove from heat and set aside.
4. Arrange the chicken medallions on plates and spoon sauce over each portion to serve.
I suggest serving this dish with brown or a whole grain wild rice mix and steamed green beans (or vegetable of choice) and a nice side salad. Yumm-o!
A little side note down here to urge you to buy natural/organic, humanely raised chicken (or any meat) whenever possible. By paying the little extra, you ensure that you and your family aren’t ingesting the hormones and antibiotics that are more-often-than-not forced into conventionally raised meats, and you’re also supporting practices of high standards of raising animals humanely with shelter, resting areas, sufficient space and the ability to engage in natural behaviors. In my opinion, naturally raised meat tastes better, so I believe it’s worth the price in more ways than one. For a little more info, check out Certified Humane.