Thursday, March 12, 2009

BB: Chicken Piccata

The first March Barefoot Bloggers recipe was Chicken Piccata, chosen by Lindsay of Noodle Nights and Muffin Mornings. I have to admit, I was kind of dreading the whole process of cooking tonight, but this snapped me out of it quickly because it was quick, easy, and tasty! The process of coating the chicken reminded me a little bit of the Barefoot Contessa's Chicken Parmesan, which is one of our favorites. However, if you don't like lemon, you might want to stick with the Chicken Parmesan instead of Chicken Piccata . . . I love lemon, and I was even a little shocked at the zing of the first bite. It's important not to cut back on the butter or the salt, they are crucial to help balance the lemon.

Chicken Piccata
2 split (1 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 extra-large egg
1/2 tablespoon water
3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs Panko bread crumbs
Good 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 watercress, for serving
optional: capers

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.

Place each chicken breast in a ziploc bag and pound out to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the egg and 1/2 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.

Heat 1 tablespoon 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 5 to 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 2 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, capers, and greens or herbs.

In addition, I need to post the last February Barefoot Bloggers recipe, Meringues Chantilly, which was chosen by BMK of Reservations Not Required. This was a fun recipe for me because I had never made meringues before. They turned out pretty well . . . and the berries and whipped cream were delicious! However, I had a little computer crash and lost the pictures . . . so you can't see the outcome. If you want to see what the other members of Barefoot Bloggers thought of the meringues and see their pictures, click here.

Meringues Chantilly
6 extra - large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whipped Cream, recipe follows
Stewed berries, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small glass and a pencil, draw 6 (3 1/2-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn the paper face-down on the baking sheets.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a large pinch of salt on medium speed until frothy. Add 1 cup of the sugar and raise the speed to high until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla. Carefully fold the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into the meringue. With a large star - shaped pastry tip, pipe a disc of meringue inside each circle. Pipe another layer around the edge to form the sides of the shells.

Bake for 2 hours, or until the meringues are dry and crisp but not browned. Turn off the heat and allow the meringues to sit in the oven for 4 hours or overnight.

Spread some of the sauce from the stewed berries on each plate. Place a meringue on top and fill with whipped cream. Top with berries and serve.

Whipped Cream:

2 cups (1 pint) cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar, vanilla and orange liqueur and continue to whip until the cream forms stiff peaks. Don't overbeat!

Stewed berries:

1 half-pint fresh blueberries
3 half-pints fresh raspberries, divided
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
2 teaspoons framboise (raspberry brandy) Orange Marnier

Combine the blueberries, one-half pint of raspberries, 1/3 cup water, the sugar and zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. The juice will become a syrup and the berries will be slightly cooked. Off the heat, stir in the remaining raspberries and the Orange Marnier. Set aside.


Heather said...

ohh yum! i love chicken piccata! and the strawberry meringues sound delicious, too :)

Penny said...

Kenzie, I think you are on to something with the salt and butter countering the sourness of the lemon. Your chicken looks great.

Karen said...

I admit, I like my sauce a little less tart! I'll be sure to adjust the lemon next time.

Suzie said...

Yours looks lovely - but I am with you on the parmesan chicken - that is the one I prefer of the two.

Kelly the Kitchen Kop said...

Ooooh, I love lemon, too, and can't wait to try this!!

Hope you are doing well!