Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Chicken Picatta

I haven't done my blogging thing in ages. But those of you that know me or have been following me for a while know that my long hiatus in blogging doesn't mean I'm not cooking. I may not do it nearly as much as I used to, but I do pop in the kitchen from time to time and occasionally I create some gems. This recipe, my friends, is definitely a gem. It's simple weeknight, Italian cooking at its best and I promise, whoever you make this for will be pleased and impressed. And if you're not making this for anyone but yourself, that's even better because you don't have to share. This is probably the only dish I've made all year where I not only ate ALL of the leftovers but was genuinely sad when they were gone. Enjoy folks!


4 Thin Sliced Chicken Breasts*
1/2 cup flour
Salt & Pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons Butter, divided
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 Shallot, minced
1 Garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup Dry White Wine
1/2 cup Chicken broth or stock
1 tbsp Parsley, chopped 
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
2 tbsp Capers
Lemon Slices for Garnish
Side Suggestion: Spaghetti, cooked al dente 

*the traditional way to prepare this dish, is to pound out chicken breasts until 1/2 inch thickness. I find that thinly sliced breasts from the grocery store are ready to go. But if not, you may have to "pound it out."


Add flour to a plate and season LIBERALLY with salt and pepper. Coat each chicken breast in flour and let set for 5-10 mins. Meanwhile mince the shallot and garlic, and chop parsley. 

Then, in a skillet, heat 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat and in two batches sear chicken breasts on both sides until golden brown then remove to a plate (a clean one!) and set aside. In the same skillet, reduce heat slightly and add remaining tablespoons of butter and oil. Once heated, add shallots and sauté for 3 minutes followed by the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Next pour in the white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up all brown bits from the bottom. Allow wine to reduce for 2 mins, then add the chicken stock and bring to a low boil. Once sauce has thickened slightly, add lemon juice, parsley, capers, stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Last step is to return the chicken to the pan and cook in the sauce for 5 mins or until cooked through. To serve, put a piece of chicken on the plate, add a slice of lemon and cover with sauce. Serve with spaghetti and a sautéed or roasted veggie. I sautéed garden fresh zucchini and cherry tomatoes.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Caprese Two Ways

If you're entertaining this weekend, or this summer, here are two ways to serve everyone's favorite Caprese Salad. The first platter is great for outdoor parties. Just cover it with plastic, keep it in the shade with tongs and people can create their own Caprese stack. It's simply sliced tomato, a basil leaf, and sliced mozzarella layered in rows on a platter. The good thing is that you can get the mozzarella pre-sliced, making this really easy to arrange. But mozzarella does tend to be a bit bland, so I season each stack with salt and pepper as I go. Then, right before serving, I drizzle the platter with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Yum.

The second platter pictured contains Caprese Skewers. This is great for cocktail parties year round. It's simply golden cherry tomato, a small piece of basil, a mozzarella ball (aka ciliegine), another small piece of basil and a red cherry tomato all threaded on a skewer.  I've made these skewers for catering gigs a few times in the past and I had a hard time finding the ciliegine mozzarella. Well, this time around, I go into BJ's (I shop in bulk when catering/entertaining) and there those little balls of goodness were. Yay! BJ's also had the golden tomatoes which I thought made the platter extra colorful and summery, though I have just used red in the past. The skewers came from Party City.

I served these Caprese Skewers at a party I catered recently for a dear friend. By the end of the party, they were gone! Along with the fruit skewers I served with a piece of strawberry, pineapple and two red grapes. Didn't get a pic because those disappeared even before the Caprese.

Both of these platters can be made in advance of your party. Enjoy!