Monday, March 9, 2009

Chicken Piccata

Cooking can be dangerous. Cooking is not for the faint-hearted or the slow fingered. Cooking requires concentration, precision and cat-like reflexes. If you're not paying attention, cooking can kill.

Every now and then things don't go according to plan. Every now and then, the train jumps the track.

A few weeks ago, SSSal was working on a dessert while I assumed a pasha's repose on the sofa, mesmerized by some drivel on television. The first shriek was actually quite muted. The second a little less so.

Shouting into the kitchen, "Are you OK?"

"Ahhhh, wellllll, I'm not sure."

{Crabby Tip: "I'm not sure" should be interpreted as a bad sign}

Upon entering the kitchen I found two of SSSal's fingers entwined in the beaters of her hand-held mixer. The good news is that they were still attached to her hand. The bad news was that the mixer didn't look like it was going to let go and I don't particularily care for lady fingers as a dessert.

Who knows what causes good appliances to go bad? After years of faithful service the KitchenAid had gone all Christine on her master's hand. What had been a trustworthy, dependable tool had turned into the Death Mixer 3000. We popped the rotors and I quickly pried the blades open. At that point adrenalin wanes and pain rushes in.

No permanent damage. A few bruises, some recurring tingling and a general wariness of spinning objects seem to be they only fallout.

So, what to do when cooking gives you lemons? Lemonade? Amateurs! Piccata of course. Normally this meal is made with veal scallops but in today's troubled times SSSal chose to use Giada DeLaurentiis' chicken version, (See, even with the calamity she knew enough to get right back up on the cutting board). This meal is quick and tasty, but fair warning, this is one of the messiest cooking experiences out there. No matter what you do, there'll be splatter around the cooktop. Other than that, enjoy...

Chicken Piccata
from Everyday Italian by Giada DeLaurentiis

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halved horizontally
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 TBSP unsalted butter
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup drained capers, rinsed
2 TBSP chopped flat leaf parsley

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

Dredge the chicken in the flour to coat lightly.

In a large saute pan melt 2 tablespoons of the butter along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the chicken broth, lemon juice and drained capers to the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Retrun the chicken to the pan and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan.

Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to form a sauce.

Serve the individual pieces of chicken spooning sauce onto each piece. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

Now, I find this sauce a touch tart, so I've increased the amount of chicken broth in the dish. Otherwise this is yet another in the seemingly infinite Crabby arsenal of inexpensive, easy and flavorful meals.

Well crablings, I hear more screaming coming form the kitchen, so I need to go. Until next time, just remember, you can do it, you can cook.

1 comment:

tamilyn said...

Good thing she wasn't licking the beaters-