Chicken is easily America’s favorite weeknight dinner meat. Don’t get me wrong chicken is delicious, though it can easily become boring and mundane. We all get into the chicken slump, and by slump, I mean making the same two to three chicken dishes every week. Luckily, this week’s recipe is far from boring and will certainly add a level of sophistication to your dinner table. Inspired by the Italian and French style of cooking called Piccata or Pique, Chicken with Lemon Herb Sauce is a delicious and simple change to anyone’s weeknight dinner schedule. This recipe contains the same techniques used to make traditional chicken piccata with a few added ingredients to make a flavorful and savory sauce. Winner, winner chicken dinner!
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breast, halved (see note below below)
- ¾ cup All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 small shallot, minced
- Splash of dry white wine (optional)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (roughly 1 lemon)
- ½ cup low sodium chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
- 4 tablespoons cold butter
- 1-2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Whisk together flour, garlic powder, and cayenne in a shallow baking dish. Generously season both sides of the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Coat each cutlet with the flour mixture, shake off any excess flour. Set aside.
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. When oil is hot, lay two chicken cutlets in the skillet and sauté until lightly browned on each side, 2-2 ½ minutes on each side. Remove cutlets from pan and place on a large plate covered with tin foil. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of oil and repeat with remaining cutlets.
- Remove empty pan from heat and sauté the shallot until fragrant or 30 seconds (removing the pan from direct heat prevents the shallot from burning). Return the pan to medium high heat and deglaze with chicken stock and lemon juice. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, scrape up the brown bits from the pan and bring to a steady simmer. Stir in capers. Place the chicken cutlets back in the pan and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove chicken to serving platter.
- Whisking vigorously, add butter, parsley, and thyme. Check the sauce for seasoning, then pour sauce over chicken and serve immediately (if the sauce is too thin for your liking, add a tablespoon of heavy cream). Enjoy!
Chicken Cutlets: Remove the tenderloin from the chicken breasts, place each breast smooth-side up on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, place one hand on top and slice the breast horizontally. If cutlets are still too thick or uneven, flatten with a meat tenderizer. Your cooking time will differ depending on how thick your cutlets are.
Getting good color on your chicken adds flavor to your dish. This can be achieved with sufficient oil and a hot pan. Temperature control is key to sautéing. Practice and familiarity with the heat on your stove makes your life easier and your dishes yummier.