What’s in a name? I was looking for something familiar with a twist to serve for Bytes’ birthday dinner. Flipping through a stack of recipes I saw Chicken Piccata Ummm – don’t think so – sounds like directions for playing piano. When the same recipe popped up again I took another look. Oh, it’s chicken with a lemon garlic sauce. I can do that! Picatta, loosely translated, means zesty. This dish has a lemon lilt flavored with fullbodied garlic. Light but definitely zesty, by whatever name you call it.
I had never noticed chicken cutlets in the grocery store before. However, they were in the freezer in all three of the grocery stores I frequent. I spend a lot of time reading labels, but not looking at frozen chicken apparently! A cutlet is about a quarter inch thick up to about half an inch thick. They are around four inches by four inches. You’ll want thin pieces of meat because you will be cooking this dish quickly. If you cannot find chicken cutlets in your grocer’s freezer, you can slice half a chicken breast into thin pieces ½ inch or less.
This is a dish that keeps you moving! Gather and prepare all ingredients and bring all utensils to hand before starting. When you dredge, just dust the entire surface of the chicken lightly. Too much flour makes everything gummy. You want just enough to hasten browning. Cook one or two minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the meat. Overcooking will make the meat tough and ruin the dish. When lightly browned removed to a plate and cover.
Deglazing is not as mysterious as it sounds. It’s just loosening any bits of browned chicken on the bottom of the pan by using a liquid to take it up. Takes about 2 minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients to make the sauce. Boomerang the chicken gently back into the sauce to heat and finish cooking. Then arrange it on the serving platter. Slide the already thinly sliced lemon into the sauce with the butter. Stir a bit until the butter is almost melted. The lemon slices will be soft but still intact. Remove and quickly arrange on top of the cooked chicken. By now the butter will finish melting. Stir and pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with fresh snipped parsley (I forgot and the parsley got tucked on the plate instead!).
Total time elapsed? Twenty minutes. Time well spent.
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