Chicken Piccata

MP6375One of my favorite dishes is Chicken Piccata…fresh garlic, wine, a little lemon juice and delicious chicken make this dish delectable and worth the process.  (And yes, there is a process…all good food has a process to get to the end.)

You must start with good chicken, which normally isn’t found in the grocery store.  I like to buy from folks I know at the farmers market, but if I run out and have to buy from the store I always choose Smart Chicken.  There are a lot of chicken choices out there, but let me tell you: ALL CHICKEN IS NOT CREATED EQUAL.  However, you will probably hear me say this about a multiple of products besides chicken.  I’m pretty particular about the food I eat and that I serve to my family.

If you have homemade stock on hand, use it for this dish instead of the canned stuff.  Deeper, richer flavor that will really add to the sauce.  And, if you wonder how to keep you own stock on hand, it’s fairly simple.  I can go out to my deep freeze and pull out homemade beef, pork or chicken stock anytime.

Whenever I cook a roast or chicken, I save that delicious stock from the meal and  place it in tupperware containers and freeze it until I need it.

I use stock in lots of cooking: making soups, boil it with rice, sauté vegetables and lots of other cooking techniques that call for plain water.  Try it yourself next time…now on to the piccata!

This recipe comes from Eating Well and there is no way you could make it any better! PHOTO from EatingWell.com.

Chicken Piccata with Pasta and Mushrooms
Adapted from EatingWell.com6 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 chicken cutlets (3/4-1 pound total), trimmed…from your local farmers market or health food store
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 10-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 teaspoons butter

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, whisk 5 teaspoons flour and broth in a small bowl until smooth. Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and dredge both sides in the flour. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; keep warm.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their juices and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add garlic and wine to the pan and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved broth-flour mixture, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in parsley, capers, butter and the reserved mushrooms. Measure out 1/2 cup of the mushroom sauce. Toss the pasta in the pan with the remaining sauce. Serve the pasta topped with the chicken and the reserved sauce.

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