A Simple Chicken Piccata Is An Italian Delight
A bottle of red, a bottle of white – It all depends upon your appetite
I’ll meet you any time you want – In our Italian Restaurant. – Billy Joel
When I lived in New York City, there was a restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen, 39th and 9th Avenue, just across from the Port Authority called Guido’s Restaurant or Supreme Macaroni. The front of the restaurant was a small store with shelves lined with pasta. You would walk through the store to get to the restaurant in back.
In my memory, Guido’s was bigger than the descriptions I’ve been reading online. According to a couple of websites, the restaurant only held 10 tables covered with checkered table cloths. I’ve been looking for photos of the restaurant but only can find some of the front of the building and not the interior except for this famous photo taken for Billy Joel’s The Stranger Album. You can read more about this photo at Billy Joe’s website.
Photo from www.billyjoel.com
I also remember you could order wine in carafes and they would give you what looked like juice glasses to drink from. The food was excellent. Two of my favorite dishes at Guido’s were veal Francais and chicken piccata. I’m sure I can’t duplicate the meal from Guido’s because a lot of the enjoyment came from the experience of being at this restaurant, but I can show you how to make a good chicken piccata recipe at home.
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
All-purpose flour, for coating the chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
How To Prepare At Home
Flatten the chicken breasts so they are relativly the same thickness, about 1/4 inch thick. You can use a meat hammer or pounder if you have one. If not, try a rolling pin or the side of a can of soup. Place the chicken breasts between wax paper or plastic wrap before pounding.
Season flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken breasts into the flour and shake off any extra flour so it doesn't clump in the pan. Be sure the chicken breasts are dry before dredging. You need to do this just before cooking. You can't prep this ahead of time.
Get your fry pan / skillet hot over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil. when the oil and butter are hot but not smoking, add the chicken breasts and pan fry for 2-3 minutes on one side, then flip and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes.
If the pan isn't large enough to cook all four at one time, cook them in two stages or use two pans. Remove and reserve chicken to a platter and cover with tin foil to keep warm.
Deglaze the pan with the wine, loosening all of the browned bits stuck to the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the lemon juice, chicken stock, capers and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and reduce the sauce by half.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and whisk to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add half the chopped parsley, reserving the rest for plating.
Plate the chicken breasts along with your sides, sauce and serve immediately.
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