Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Veal Piccata (or Chicken if you prefer...)

As a member of the Barefoot Bloggers, from time to time I find myself making things that would not normally have occurred to me to cook. This is a good thing - both because I am discovering new recipes, and also because I am prompted to rethink old ones. It has also led me to confidently rely on the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten and her recipes for a dependable, yummy, relatively easy meal.

Last week our challenge was a side of onions, which left me wondering what I would serve with them. And rather than rethink the wheel, I decided to look back to Ina's own suggestion. Her recipes tend to be presented on TV and in her books, as part of a whole meal. She gives a little back story of who she is cooking for and why, and then the recipes. Our baked onions were part of a dinner for her husband Jeffrey who had been away all week for work, called "It's Friday Night Again". Comfort food at its finest in other words. Ina's suggested main was chicken piccata, but as we had had chicken already several times last week, I decided veal piccata would be a great match for us. Served with tomato and avocado drizzled in a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic, this was good.
Chicken Piccata (or Veal)
adapted from "Barefoot Contessa at Home" by Ina Garten. Serves 2-4 depending on how much chicken / veal you cook. The sauce is ample for four.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used four veal escalopes but kept other quantities the same)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 extra-large egg
1/2 tablespoon water
3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
Good olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine
Sliced lemon, for serving
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving

Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound out to 1/4-inch thick (my veal was already done). Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp of pepper in a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the egg and 1/2 tbl of water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread crumb mixtures.
Heat 1 tbl of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan and allow them to bake for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. Over medium heat, melt 1 tbl of the butter and then add the lemon juice, wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 tbl of butter and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves and serve 1 chicken breast on each plate. Spoon on the sauce and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.


Anne said...

That looks wonderful! I love Ina's recipes and being able to count on them turning out great. :) The veggies on the side look perfect, too!

Sophie said...

Tender breaded veal sounds like a delicious match, I agree :). It looks so tasty on the plate with all the other savory ingredients!