I’m a believer in following the rules. I think I was a hall monitor in a former life. Personal responsibility is a BIG thing with me. Once I learned how to color within the lines, I tried never coloring outside of them.
For those of you who have read my (nearly countless) posts of how I altered recipes, therefore NOT following the rules, you are (justifiably) howling maniacally.
But my need to bend recipes to my will aside, sometimes there are times you need to BREAK THE RULES!
Even though I haven’t written an updated post (yah, yah) for the Please Don’t Heat Up the Kitchen New Recipe Challenge, I am trying to make sure that I don’t heat up the kitchen this summer of insane heat.
Repeat after me: In. Sane.
So, why would I make a recipe that not only heats up the stove coils for an extended period of time but also runs the oven for close to half an hour (plus pre-heat time)?
Because it is totally worth it.
Because it makes you think you are literally tasting summer.
The fresh and crisp and clean summer, not the insane (see above) summer.
The recipe comes from Debbiedoo’s (I just love that name), the blog that gave Muffin his favorite pork chop dish (Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Pork Chops). I figured that any recipe from that website would be totally Muffin Approved (and it was)!
What dish, to me, epitomizes summer? Drumroll….Wait for it….
Quick and Easy Chicken Piccata. Lemony. With a crisp note of white wine. And the one ingredient that makes me love chicken piccata: capers! Of course I forgot to add them until after the chicken was in the oven for a bit, but half a jar still went in there.
We served it with broccoli that was “stir fried” in the pan that had browned the chicken and made the sauce, cantaloupe, blackberries, and strawberries. Eating the rainbow again. My one regret is that I didn’t serve it with pasta. It totally needed pasta.
And, as I was saying, with the exception of the capers (oh, well, more for me), Muffin LOVED it!!! Of course this was a Muffin Approved meal all the way around: two of his favorite fruits and one of his favorite veg. For some reason, Muffin wasn’t that fond of the blackberries. I loved them!
Anyway, here’s what I did:
Quick and Easy Chicken Piccata
(Followed almost exactly from Debbiedoo’s–see the hyperlink above)
3 large chicken breasts (the thin end cut off as one piece then the thicker in divided into two pieces–halved horizontally–you will have 9 smallish pieces)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (ish) all-purpose flour
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (You are going to buy a fresh lemon anyway to slice and boil in the sauce, so 1/4 cup of juice isn’t that much of a hardship. P.S. If you have a Muffin, he or she loves doing this part of the work.)
1 fresh lemon, sliced
1/2 jar nonpareil capers (the tiny bits of goodness)
2 tablespoons butter (The recipe calls for four tablespoons, but I was trying to finish off a stick of butter before it went rancid.)
2 cups of white wine (I used Flip Flop Pinot Grigio. No, I don’t get compensated by their parent company, but I wanted to let you know so you could produce consistent results. And, I chose this one because I’m not fond of pinot grigio, and this one had a screw top–so that it could be easily saved for another cooking use.)
*Debbiedoo’s also uses parsley, but I didn’t use any. If you want to find out how, check out the link above.
I started out by preparing the sauce ingredients (to avoid cross-contamination with the chicken): sliced the lemon, juiced the lemons, measured out the wine, plopped in the butter, and forgot the capers. Then, I prepped the chicken, dividing each into three pieces (see above) and mixing the flour with salt and pepper. While prepping the chicken, I coated the bottom of a large pan in oil and started warming it on medium.
I then cooked the chicken (3-4 minutes each side) in two batches, evacuating the chicken to a 13×9 glass pan as it finished. Once I started cooking the chicken, I preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Once the chicken was browned, I poured in the sauce ingredients, starting with the wine, which deglazed the pan close to immediately. I stirred them together and brought them to a “bubble,” then reduced the heat and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes.
I poured the sauce over the chicken and plopped the 13×9 in the oven. Sprinkle capers over the top (if you forgot to add them to the sauce as I did). Bake 25-35 minutes. I baked mine 25 minutes and it was perfection, very tender and flavorful.
What is your favorite dish that reminds you of summer?