May 16, 2010

chicken piccata variation

Perhaps one of the most versatile chicken dishes around, this variation was the result of running out of capers, one of the main ingredients for this dish, and substituting something in our pantry which I seldom run out, canned black olives. I've always praised the convenience of using boneless chicken breast fillets for everyday meals. They're always tender and easy to prepare. I usually slice them into thinner pieces, about half inch thick. They cook even faster this way. Laid out on a tray, sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper and a thin coating of flour then repeat on the other side. I find that those mini sifters that I buy from the dollar store are most handy to use for sprinkling the flour over the chicken fillets instead of just using your fingers. Tapping the sifter lightly, neatly and evenly distributes the flour in a thin coating. Pan fry the fillets in olive oil until browned and cooked through. Transfer them to a serving dish and keep warm. Keep the heat on medium to low. In the same skillet, adding more olive oil if needed, toss in the sliced black olives. Add about a half to 3/4 cup of chicken broth with about 1/4 cup of white wine (optional)then simmer gently until reduced. Add minced garlic, about 2 tablespoons of butter and continue to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Add the juice of half a lemon. Thinly slice the remaining lemon then toss in the lemon slices into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley or basil. Serve warm with orzo or angel hair pasta.

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