Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Picnic Game 2014

Chicken Piccata for Louise's Picnic Game, 2014 

Chicken Piccata is an old favorite, featured at traditional restaurants and often cooked at home, for example by my sister-in-law. Thanks to her mentioning it, I started thinking about this classic.

Served with garlic mashed potatoes, Chicken Piccata is on the menu at Merriman’s Cafe in Waikoloa on the Big Island of Hawaii where we are currently on vacation. The cafe is a spin-off of Merriman’s restaurant, one of the originators of Pacific Rim cuisine in the 1980s. Perhaps oddly, Italian/Mediterranean food is very much a part of Pacific Rim cooking. (We speculate that it's because of the longstanding Italian traditions of San Francisco, which IS on the Pacific Rim!)

When I decided recently – a few weeks before my trip –  to try making Chicken Piccata, I found a recipe on Epicurious, but I changed it in several places and especially, I simplified the cooking technique. My recipe made around 5 servings. We ate some hot from the oven with salad (shown above) and some cold with additional parsley: perfect for a picnic.

Specifically, it’s just the thing for the 2014 Picnic Game
sponsored by Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations.

To start the game, all participants have promised to go through the alphabetical list up until the letter of our own contribution, just like the old kids’ memory game. In this game, though, we link to the blog post and recipe of the other picnic goers: just click on the caption of the images for A and B below.

So here it is: I’m going on a picnic and I'm bringing:

B -- Basil Leaves in Caramelized Prawns 
and C -- Chicken Piccata, my contribution:
Check Louise's blog on July 1 for a list from A to Z!

Chicken Piccata Ingredients
4 boneless chicken breast halves or equivalent amount boned by hand – skin optional
3 tablespoons butter (less if you left some skin on the breasts)
4 teaspoons flour to make kneaded butter
Additional flour, salt, and pepper for dredging the chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil for browning the chicken
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice plus lemon zest (Don't forget to grate lemon zest before squeezing juice!)
1/4 cup canned chicken broth ... or use homemade stock from the chicken bones
1/2 large shallot, chopped or sliced very thin
1/4 cup drained capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

chicken-piccata2 chicken-piccata3
  1. If using whole unboned chicken breasts: remove bones and cut meat into ¾-inch-thick cutlets. Optionally, use the bones and some carrots and onion or shallots to make stock. If you remove the skin, also use it to make the stock.
  2. Make kneaded butter: mix 1 tablespoon of butter and 4 teaspoons of flour in small bowl until smooth.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dredge chicken cutlets at last minute in flour-salt-pepper mixture. Brown chicken in batches in a frying pan in olive oil, and put them on a cookie sheet. When all are browned, bake them in the oven until done while making sauce in the same frying pan. Baking time depends on how thick you cut them, somewhere around 15 minutes.
  4. In pan juices in the frying pan, brown a few slices of shallot. Add wine, lemon juice and broth to frying pan and simmer for around 5 minutes over medium-high heat with shallots and additional butter as needed. Whisk in butter-flour mixture and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Leave on low heat until chicken is done. Add more stock if needed.
  5. Assemble dish. To the frying pan add the capers, parsley, lemon zest, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter (if needed). Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Place chicken on serving platter, pour sauce over chicken, and serve. Or place chicken breasts in storage container, pour sauce over chicken, and chill until needed, adding more freshly chopped parsley before serving.


Tracy Feldman, painter said...

We once had a conversation about chicken piccata with a rock star, the drummer from Cold Play. His wife's uncle is a good friend of ours, so we got to go backstage to meet him at a concert in PA 5 years ago. Our friend was here for a conference at which one of the banquet choices was chicken piccata, so he asked what it was. After the conversation, we were Googling both the dish and the rock star, and noted that the rock star had somewhat more hits than the dish. When we got a chance to meet him back stage, we didn't really know what to say to him, so Arny mentioned that he had more hits than chicken piccata, to which the response was "What's chicken piccata?" So Tracy told him about it, thinking "I can't believe I'm talking about chicken piccata to a rock star."

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Mae!

Well, look at you preparing Chicken Piccata for the Picnic Game. I'm impressed:)

I would never think to bring Chicken Piccata to a picnic but now that you mention it, it makes perfect sense!

It sure looks delicious Mae, and definitely worth the excitement. (You really, really wanted to bring it this year:) I'm so glad you did! We are going to have another delicious picnic and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see everyone hanging out at your blanket, if only for a whiff:)

Thank you so much for "playing" Mae. "See" you at the picnic and enjoy Hawii!!!

Ivy Sew said...

Hi Mae, I am sure your chicken piccata will be a hit at the picnic. It's delish and irresistible. See you at the picnic. Regards :)

Marjie said...

I love Chicken Piccata, too! Yours looks wonderful, and your idea of using it cold for the picnic is perfect.

Rumbling Tummy said...

Nice meeting you. Lovely dish you brought along for this picnic.

Barbara said...

Lovely recipe, Mae. The Picnic Game is always fun and isn't it great to be at the beginning of the alphabet?

Chats the Comfy Cook said...

I am glad you are bringing this and I know you will save me a piece of that delicious chicken because I am asking so nicely.

Geri Saucier said...

Looks delicious. You are at my favorite Hawaiian island. Have a great time:)

kitchen flavours said...

Your chicken piccata looks delicious! I'll be coming over to your blanket at the picnic! See you!

Gloria Baker said...

This look delicious!

Gloria Baker said...

This look delicious!

Cakelaw said...

Yum! This is such a tasty dish to bring along.

My Little Space said...

Nice meeting you Mae! Your chicken piccata looks so scrumptious. I am salivating here. I'm going to pack a piece or two away if you don't mind.:o)
Hope you're having a fabulous weekend.
Blessings, Kristy

Kathy said...

Mae so glad to be joining you on this picnic…hope I get to try some of your lovely Chicken Picata! It sounds delicious! Love your blog and hope to visit you often! See you at the picnic!

~~louise~~ said...

Sounds like you Chicken Piccata is a hit Mae! Thanks again for joining in on the festivities!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

So happy you are coming to the picnic Mae. Chicken Piccata is one of my favorites!

Dottie said...

Dear Mae, I adore your Chicken Piccata. One of my favorite dishes. I love the way you did the photos to show how to prepare the Chicken.Thanks for sharing your dish with us. Hope that you are having a great day at the picnic! I know I am..Blessings Dottie :)

Dottie said...

Dear Mae, I adore your Chicken Piccata. One of my favorite dishes. I love the way you did the photos to show how to prepare the Chicken.Thanks for sharing your dish with us. Hope that you are having a great day at the picnic! I know I am..Blessings Dottie :)

~ Nee ~ said...

Howdy Mae , great meeting you and I want second helping of the Chicken Picata please . Hmmm good .