Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday Dinner: Chicken Picatta

Sunday Dinner--At the Table

Every Sunday dinner is special, but this week was a gift:  We were lucky to visit with many old/dear friends with whom we don't visit enough. The main dish of the day was Chicken Picatta (I started with mango-peach salsa, and guacamole; will share the salsa recipe soon!) with a few fresh and colorful sides.

Chicken Picatta is a favorite of both my parents--and now my father-in-law. I think it’s the combination of nostalgia (for my parents; they've always loved it!) along with the sweet lemon and wine sauce, as well as the salty capers and the crunch of the breading atop the moist chicken that makes this dish a winner. For this Sunday, I decided we could all use the comfort of a tried-and-true dish, so—with 15 family members and friends coming—I decided that would be the base of our Sunday dinner! I also made a few other favorites: Poor Man's Salad, Leafy Greens with Strawberries and Toasted Almonds topped with a light vinaigrette, and Pasta (orchiette!) with Pistachio Pesto. Thumbs up from all...

Chicken Picatta

Serves 6 to 8
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 cloves sliced garlic
8 to 10  6-ounce pieces of  skinless and boneless chicken breasts and thighs 
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Homemade or fresh bread crumbs for dredging
unsalted butter
extra-virgin olive oil
Lemon zest from 1 lemon
Juice of 3 lemons
White wine
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1/2 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in bread crumbs and shake off excess.
With Sofia--after plating all the dishes!
Heat about 4 tablespoons of oil a large skillet over medium-high heat, When the oil start to sizzle, add the garlic. Then add one layer of chicken, and cook until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Then flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Add oil as needed, and continue browning the other pieces before transferring them to the plate (but don’t clean the skillet; you’re going to use all those brown bits! Lightly oil 1 or 2 baking pans (depending on their size.) Transfer the chicken to single layers in the baking pan(s), sprinkle the lemon zest ribbons on top of the chicken pieces, and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the lemon juice and about 3/4 cup of white wine. Add about 1 tablespoon of butter.  Stir in the capers. Cook over medium heat for several minutes, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover with foil, and bake for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (you don’t want it to dry out!). Sprinkle with parsley (optional!—I forgot it on Sunday!) and serve.

With Wes

Sofia with Julie--friends since Second Grade! (AND Julie was the main photographer du jour!)

Bert, Julie, Sofia and Wes

And a reminder--with hopes that you'll be able to join us! 

Thursday July 26, 6pm – 7:30pmIn the Kitchen with Arlen /En La Cocina con Arlen    From preparing a small soirée for close friends & family, to making an intimate dinner for two, entertaining should be satisfying, not stressful! Arlen, cookbook author, teacher & home chef will share her tips for entertaining Latin style. Sumptuous sips & light treats from her cookbooks will be shared!    La Casa Azul Bookstore
143 E. 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029, Phone: (212) 426 – 2626Let me know if you can make it! 

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