Bensonhurst Kitchen: Chicken Piccata

You’ve heard of the old saying, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

In this edition of BK, Colleen ups the ante on that antiquated adage. While lemonade is great, there’s just so much more that you can do with the acerbic yellow citrus.

This week, when Key Food sold Colleen lemons, she made chicken piccata.

Piccata or ‘picatta’ means “to pound” or “to flatten” in Italian culinary vernacular and that’s what you do to get nice thin cutlets. Those babies need to be butterflied and then stomped like that off Broadway show – you know, the one with the musical garbage can lids? But I digress…

While in Italy, piccata is normally made using veal, the dish has evolved in the United States to instead incorporate chicken breast.

Have you ever been out to a restaurant with piccata haters? The ones who see piccata on the menu and whine to the waiter or waitress, “can you make mine Marsala instead?”

I’m certain that every time this question is brought up, somewhere a fruit wholesaler cries into his quinces.

Trying this recipe will hopefully bestow upon diners a newfound appreciation for the lemon, as well as proper restaurant ordering procedure.

Get ready for a seriously tart, savory experience that’s both simple to accomplish and probably better than what you’ve been eating. Please tip your server, put down the Marsala wine and pucker up for some piccata!

Colleen’s Chicken Piccata

Ingredients:

1 pound of chicken breast cut and pounded thin
1/2 cup flour to dredge
1 teaspoon garlic powder
6-8 tablespoons butter, as needed to brown chicken breasts
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup fresh sliced mushrooms

Directions:

Mix flour and garlic powder in a bowl large enough dredge the chicken breasts.

Dredge chicken breasts in flour mixture. In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter.  Brown chicken in melted butter, adding additional butter as needed.

Remove chicken to a plate when browned.

Pour half of the wine in the skillet, using a spatula or wooden spoon scrape the bits of flour that are stuck. This is a technique known as deglazing.

Add mushrooms and cook until tender.

Return the chicken to the pan and add the lemon juice.  Stir gently.

Simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes.

TIPS:

Interested in keeping everything heart healthy?  Substitute olive oil for the butter.

Do you have a can of mushrooms in your cabinet and no fresh mushrooms in the fridge? Use the canned mushrooms instead. Drain the liquid, skip the step of cooking them and add them right before the chicken.

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