So in celebration of this day, we are making a beautiful chicken piccata with lemon-butter-caper sauce. Even if it weren't a special day, this recipe is one worth celebrating.
Now, I am going to let you in on a little secret. I have read so much about how hard it is to feed a family on a budget or to eat well and not spend a fortune. So, I've made a concerted attempt to keep track of just how "expensive" my recipes are and bring you a way to have amazing dinners without breaking the bank.
Ready for the gourmet price tag? $2.50 per serving, for 4 servings. That is the chicken, the potatoes, and the broccoli.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't go to the most expensive grocer in town, but even at the highest prices, it doesn't add much more. Shopping is a completely new topic that I will cover on another post, because this is all about the chicken.
Chicken Piccata with Lemon Butter Caper Sauce
2 T Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Flour
1 T corn Starch
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 Cup dry white wine
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 T butter (divided)
1 large plastic bag (I used a zipper seal freezer bag)
In a flat dish, mix together the flour and cornstarch (Cornstarch helps to lighten up the flour coating). Season with salt and pepper.
Put one chicken breast in the plastic bag and place on a solid surface. Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a pan (I use a small iron skillet), pound the chicken until it is uniformly about 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with remaining chicken breast. (This is awesome if you have some stress you need to work out. If you are not stress free by the time you have finished preparing the chicken, there's bound to be a bit of leftover wine!)
Put the olive oil in a skillet and heat to medium.
Dredge the chicken through the flour mixture so that it is completely but lightly covered. (If this were truly "fried" chicken there would be a beaten egg bath alternated with the flour mixture).
Cook the chicken in the pan with the hot oil about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and juices run clear.
Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and return to the stove, reducing the heat to medium low.
Add 1 T of butter, the lemon juice, and white wine to the pan. If you are using fresh lemon juice, put the lemon peel in the pan for extra lemon flavor. Season with salt and pepper (I also like to add a little garlic here).
Stir until the lemon butter mixture is combined and allow it to "reduce" or "cook down." The sauce will thicken and take on a pale yellow color.
Here's the coolest trick ever, turn the heat off or to the lowest it will go and add the last 2 T of butter (sliced into pats) and just swirl it around until combined. This incorporates the butter into the sauce and gives it a creamy, glossy, gorgeous texture.
Mashed potatoes have never had a better pairing than this lemony chicken. It could also be paired with steamed pasta tossed with a bit of butter, olive oil, and garlic. We also added fresh broccoli that we simply steamed in the microwave.
The only regret at the end of dinner was that we had not doubled the recipe for sauce, because it was delicious on the broccoli and mashed potatoes. Two large chicken breasts made enough for 4 servings, which means that leftover lunch tomorrow is something to celebrate as well!