Tonight's meal – Chicken Picatta – was another pantry meal. Since we've got a busy weekend coming up, I wanted to use up the remainder of the chicken and veggies we had. I looked through a few cookbooks and per usual, found a great recipe in my go-to cookbook: Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa At Home. I've always wanted to make it but for some reason, have been intimidated to make the sauce. Whenever I work with lemon, the acidic flavor ends up overpowering the dish. In risotto, in chicken dishes, in sauces, etc. However, Ina's version of Chicken Picatta turned out so well I've 100% added it to my dinner roster.
I had all the key refrigerated ingredients – chicken, lemons, flat leaf parsley, eggs, butter – as well as the pantry ingredients. I felt comfortable breading the chicken, especially after making Oven Fried Chicken earlier this week. So that wasn't a problem, especially since it was with regular seasoned breadcrumbs, not the more complicated corn flake, almonds and sesame seed mixture. But I digress. :)
The Chicken Picatta took about 30 minutes, including oven time. The crust on the chicken was crunchy, hot and well seasoned with Italian herbs. The Picatta sauce was lemony but not in an overpowering, acidic way, as has been my experience with other citrus sauces. The butter really cut through the acid and left the sauce velvety, smooth and deliciously rich. Not to mention, the chicken was juicy, cooked perfectly from the few minutes in the oven. So, all in all, the meal turned out to be really delicious and great to look at.
Here's how you make it:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 extra-large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 1/2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Sliced lemon, for serving
- Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving
Mix the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate (use a shallow bowl if it's easier). In a second shallow plate, beat the egg and 1 tablespoon of water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread crumb mixtures (in that order).
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan and allow them to bake for 10 minutes while you make the sauce.
For the sauce, wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and then add the lemon juice, wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 4-6 minutes. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves and serve 1 chicken breast on each plate. Spoon on the sauce and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley. Enjoy!