Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The Piccata Caper
Today I made Chicken Piccata. I've never made it, and truth be told, I don't remember ever eating it, either.
I was vaguely aware however, that it is chicken in wine and lemon sauce -- not to be mistaken with Chicken Marsala, which is chicken in wine and mushroom sauce.
I found the recipe on the side of a can of Montini Italian Style Bread Crumbs, from the http://98centsuperstore.com/ (98 Cent Super Dollar Store - yep, that is really its name). I simplified the recipe, but it was pretty basic to begin with, which defitely fits my criteria that a recipe with more than 8 (5 being preferable) major/basic ingredients isn't worth the trouble.
So here we go -- you'll need:
Butter or Margarine
Juice of 1 lemon
Chicken Broth (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Capers and/or Parsley (optional)
So did I find chicken cutlets at the Dollar Store? Well, funny you should ask -- yes, yes I did. The 99 Cent Only Store had frozen chicken breast meat. The quality was questionable (lots of injected sodium) -- but as luck would have it, they were of cutlet size (meaning I didn't have to cut or flatten them), and perfect for this dish.
I beat one egg, dipped the cutlets. in them and covered in bread crumbs. I fried them in a pan of margarine, and them removed them, while I made a sauce of the drippings, lemon, chicken broth and white wine. The original recipe didn't call for it, but I added a pinch of flour to thicken the sauce slightly.
I served this over a bed of spaghetti, and as I didn't have parsley, or capers, I used a little left over cilantro just as garnish for the photo.
Even though I couldn't find capers at the Dollar Store, I was curious enough to find out exactly what capers are.
The are salty, and lemony, and briney like olives (as sold today in jars), but I was surprised to learn that they are actually a flower bud from a caper bush. Now commonly pickled, and used as a garnish, they were thought to be an aphrodisiac in biblical times.
You learn something new every day.