If I haven’t said it before, you must have guessed by now, my cookery style is all about how to make cooking quicker and easier, while not loosing flavour and hopefully not too much flair. At the ‘we love real beer’ festival (oh yes! we do) on Sunday a friend of mine told me about a chicken dish she had made that day which was so satisfying and easy – chicken piccata. Now, I have heard of it, eaten it in Italian restaurants but never considered making it at home. When I saw the recipe which she sent to me yesterday I immediately changed my dinner plans, as I had (almost) all the ingredients in the house.
Naturally I changed the recipe somewhat to suit my own cooking style and added a few things which I thought would enhance the flavour. I substituted the sherry (which I didn’t have) with dry white wine and a little sugar. I will however be buying some asap as my friend told me that she has a bottle of sherry which she has added fresh chillies to and she has assured me that it is an awesome addition to most dishes.
The end result was tender and tangy; and served with mashed potato, roasted root veggies and creamed spinach it made a fabulous comfort food autumn meal.
One thing I have to add… I usually try not to blog about negative things (there are enough people doing that…) but I have to bitch about the chicken I bought yesterday. I am a loyal Pick n Pay shopper and usually trust the PnP branded products. The chicken breasts I bought had long white sinews as thick as heavy duty packaging string in each breast. I had to hassle and break apart my breasts to remove them. This is the second time I have strayed from my usual Eglin Chicken in the last month, with seriously disappointing results. I will be sure not to stray anytime soon again.
4 chicken breast, tenderised
¼ cup of white flour
½ tsp of salt
Spices of your choice (I used a pinch of coriander, cumin, turmeric and chilli powder)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp of butter
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
½ a cup of sherry (or white wine with 1 Tbsp of sugar)
1 cup of chicken stock
1 tsp of lemon zest
3 Tbsp of lemon juice
2 Tbsp of brown sugar
2 Tbsp of capers
1 tsp of whole grain mustard
2 Tbsp Italian parsley, finely chopped
Mix up the flour, salt and spices. Heat half the oil in a large non stick pan to medium high heat. Coat your tenderised chicken breasts with the flour and fry them until just browning on each side (2 minutes per side max). Add extra oil as you need it. Set aside the chicken.
If there is any burned flour in your pan, clean it out, if not add the butter to the same pan and once it has melted add the onions and garlic and fry for a minute or two until they turn glassy. Add the sherry, stock, lemon zest and juice, capers, mustard and sugar. Allow this to simmer and reduce by about a 1/3. Then add the chicken breasts and parsley to the sauce and simmer until heated through.
If making this ahead of time. Leave the chicken and sauce separate until ready for use. Then heat the sauce, add the chicken and parsley, and simmer until the chicken is heated through.
For garnish add lemon slices and extra capers.