Monday, March 9, 2015

Recipe: Gluten Free Chicken Piccata

I think I went three years without buying chicken breasts. Chicken thighs? Delish. Dark meat. Bring it. Whole chicken for roasting? Even better. Extra crispy skin. Chicken breasts? No. Nope. Don't want to think about them, eat them, or figure out why people buy 'em. 

UNTIL THIS CHICKEN PICCATA. I finally learned how I like chicken breasts: practically fried, sopping up a garlicky lemon wine sauce, and over pasta. Huzzaaahhh!

I actually want to eat this once a week for the rest of my life. Which means my apartment will smell absolutely magnificent one day a week for the rest of my life. I can see it now. I'll be all, 'Wanna come over? It's Chicken Piccata Tuesday!' 'Sorry, can't meet for drinks tonight. It's Chicken Piccata Tuesday.' 'No I can NOT drive the kids to soccer! It's...' You get the picture. 

(Once you start having food-themed nights of the week I think you pretty much must have children. But I hope dogs count because I could really get on board with Stir-fry Sunday.)

This recipe takes a little bit of lovin' and dirties a few dishes, but it's completely worth it. Once you plunk the beautiful (SO BEAUTIFUL) golden brown chicken back into the sauce, and hit it with some parsley and lemon zest, you'll be like: I. Just. Made. That.

Now clap once. You also just gave yourself a self-high-five. #EARNEDIT!

Recipe: Gluten Free Chicken Piccata
[original recipe from Red Shallot Kitchen]

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg
1/4 cup cornstarch 
1/4 cup gluten free flour blend (I use Cup4Cup)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano 
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1.5 tbsp)
2 tbsp capers, drained 
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional) 
1/2 cup dry white wine (or flat champagne from the night before...)
1 cup gluten free, low sodium chicken stock 
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 large lemon), plus extra slices for garnish
1 tsp lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
3 tbsp chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
Cooked gluten free pasta, tossed with olive oil 

Use a mallet (or a potato masher, small heavy pan, or a rolling pan) to evenly pound out the chicken breasts so that they're about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick. (I put my chicken between 2 pieces of saran wrap on a cutting board, and use a potato masher.) Trim off any... strange looking parts.

Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. In one shallow bowl, whisk the egg with a splash of water or milk to create an egg wash. In a second shallow bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, flour, garlic powder and oregano. Dredge each chicken breast by dipping it completely in the egg wash, then completely in the flour mixture. Make sure the flour mixture coats the entire surface. Set all coated chicken aside.

Place a large, heavy-bottomed skilled over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. After the butter melts, add the 4 chicken breasts. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes until the bottom is dark golden brown. Flip each piece of chicken, and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a wire rack (this stops the bottom from becoming soggy), or a plate. (If you're cooking more chicken or if they all don't fit in the pan, repeat this step until all of the chicken is cooked - just add a bit more butter and oil in between batches.)

Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon of butter. Once melted, add the garlic, capers and red pepper flakes (if using). Cook 1 to 2 minutes until garlic softens. Add lemon juice, wine and chicken stock. (I usually just have those three ingredients ready in one measuring cup.) Use tongs or a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. 

Bring sauce to a boil, then place all of the cooked chicken into the pan with the sauce. Sprinkle the lemon zest and parsley all over the pan. Top chicken with lemon slices (if using). Cook for 5 minutes, until sauce has reduced and chicken is warmed through. 

Serve with your favorite gluten free pasta.


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