Chicken Piccata a la Andrew

Believe it or not, I’m not certain I had even heard of chicken piccata prior to last night. Nevertheless, with time, a desire to make something ambitious for dinner, and a lovely suggestion from my girlfriend, I took a whack at it yesterday evening, and I was pretty pleased with the results.

I used a recipe that Heather found from a website called The Cookbook Smasher. I did make a few adjustments, mostly based on necessity. I used a package of chicken breast tenderloins instead of chicken breasts (they’re smaller and thinner cuts of chicken) and I used pre-minced garlic and pre-chopped parsley. Here’s a photo of all my supplies:

No, Kroger is not my corporate sponsor, but they do good work.

The recipe called for me to pound the meat flat with a meat mallet. Unfortunately, I do not own a meat mallet, so I had to improvise.

It's also good for relieving stress.

Using the tools the good lord gave me.

Then, the recipe said I needed to “dredge” the chicken in flour. My last interaction with the word “dredge” was in my Contract Law class, so I decided to look up what the term means in a chicken context.

Google - Is there anything it can't do?

Apparently it means to cover the chicken entirely in flour. Heather points out that I could probably have used context clues, but with all the crazy terms there are in cooking, I just had to double check. Knowledge in hand, I dredged the chicken in the flour/salt/pepper mixture.

In an alternate version of "Scarface", Tony Montana was just making Chicken Piccata.

With most of the prep work done, it was time to start boiling the water and get the frying pan sizzling.

"Just hanging out. Being cookware. You know how we do."

Once the butter and olive oil started to simmer, it was time for the first round of cooking the chicken.


The smell of the kitchen was pretty awesome at this point.

Given that I used tenderloins instead of chicken breasts, the cooking took a little longer than expected. Still, in not too long I had a pile a lightly browned chicken.

"Dogpile on Billy!"

Then it was time to mix together the chicken broth, lemon juice, garlic, and capers for the sauce. I’m sure I have had capers sometime before, but I have definitely never cooked with them. It took me forever to find them at the grocery store. Here they are in action.

"Kinda swampy." - Heather

The recipe said to let the sauce “reduce” for eight-to-ten minutes. Again, I had no idea what this cooking term meant so I looked it up on the internet.

Yahoo Answers - Not just for teenagers with poor grammar trying to figure out whether that boy or girl from school likes them.

Apparently, to reduce a sauce just means to let it simmer down so it gets thicker because the water evaporates. Here is the “reduced” version of the sauce, in all it’s glory.

Bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble.

I reduced the sauce for about nine minutes, which gave me just enough time to take care of the pasta. Despite having some orzo on hand, I ended up going with angel hair pasta because 1. it’s my favorite kind and 2. I thought it would go well with the chicken.

If there's a nicer pasta than angel hair, I haven't found it.

Then it was time to start round two of cooking the chicken. This time, they were immersed in the sauce.

"Mmm" - Heather

They cooked much faster than expected. Before I knew it, they were almost done.

Almost ready.

The penultimate step was to put the chicken on a bed of pasta.

First batch is almost finished.

Aerial shot of the first batch on the kitchen table. Almost finished.

Joined by the second batch.

The last step was to spoon the remaining sauce over the chicken and pasta. With that, the dish was finally complete.

The final product.

Aerial shot of the final product.

And that’s the story of how I will have enough Chicken Piccata to last me the rest of the week. I very much enjoyed the end result. I thought it was very tasty with a lot of bold flavors. Big thanks to The Cookbook Smasher for the recipe and to Heather for suggesting it.

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