Saturday, September 24, 2011

UPS Delivery Excitement & Chicken Piccata

Online shopping is great for someone like me who doesn't really like to shop.  One of the things I like the most about it besides the fact that it is delivered to your door...is that you know when your items will be delivered to your door via UPS/Fed Ex tracking.  It's like stalking your package - I love it.  

About 6pm last night two packages that I was stalking across the country arrived via UPS....not fabric, but flour.....twenty five pounds of flour.  
The mug is mine...gives you a sense of how big the bag is.
Yes I ordered a twenty five pound bag of flour and a 32 ounce size bottle of Vanilla.  Obviously I bake a lot.  The vanilla I have purchased before and have room for...but the flour?  I'm going to have to get creative to find a spot for that huge bag.  

Amid my flour/vanilla delivery I was making Chicken Piccata for dinner for the family.  My favorite recipe comes from Cooks Illustrated which I have adapted here for you:
Chicken Piccata (adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
Serves 4
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 or 4 skinless chicken breasts, rinsed, dried, sliced diagonally
3/4 cup of flour
5 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cups Chicken Stock
3 or 4 tablespoons drained capers
4 or more tablespoons unsalted butter
fresh or dried parsley to sprinkle on 
1. Turn on oven to 200 degrees - this is for the chicken to remain warm while making the sauce.
2.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken slices with salt and pepper.
Chicken slices with S&P
3.  Dredge each chicken slice in flour and shake off excess.  
Chicken dredged in flour
4.  Heat up your electric skillet or use a 12 inch pan over medium high heat.  Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil together. 
The olive oil helps keep the butter from burning

5.  Lay in the chicken slices and saute about 2 minutes on one side...you are looking for a nice browning on one side. The chicken kind of starts to pucker on the sides....use a spatula to look under one to see if it is browned.   
Nice sizzle going on in the pan
6.  While you wait for that two minutes on the first side...dash over to your sewing machine and finish putting the binding on a mug for for the Goodie Swap 2011.  Ok you don't really have to do this step.  :)
Mug rug for Partner #2 - hope it doesn't smell like chicken
7. When done on the first side, turn over and cook for only 1 minute.  Then remove from pan to an ovenproof plate to rest and keep warm in the oven.  
Cooked chicken ready for the oven
8. Look inside your pan....see all those brown bits sticking to the pan?  That's flavor - umami waiting for you to unlock with chicken stock and lemon juice.  
Umami - Japanese word for savory
9.  Add the chicken stock and lemon juice to the pan and use a wooden spoon(one of my favorite tools in my kitchen) to scrape the bottom to loosen the browned bits.  Let simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add in the capers.  Turn down the heat to low.
This probably smells really good
10.  Now it is time to thicken the sauce.  Add in about 2-3 tablespoons of butter and let melt into the sauce.  Now for the tricky part  - Use a small strainer with your left hand to dust flour into the sauce while whisking the sauce with your right hand.  Of course if you are left handed, please reverse.  I don't use a flour or cornstarch slurry as it seems to make the sauce to pasty...I just keep adding in the dusting of the flour until I get the exact consistency I want.  Sorry no photo...I only have two hands.  

10.  When the sauce is to your liking, add back in the chicken that was keeping warm in the oven and turn up the heat to bring the chicken up to the same temperate as the sauce.  

11.  I serve with lemon rice and a few lemon wedges and a sprinkle of parsley.  
Bon Appetit!
Enjoy your Saturday!
Susan

4 comments:

  1. mmmm. I made chicken piccata last week (from Barefoot Contessa) but I like your addition of the capers - sounds delish! Love that step when you work on the binding - haha....my sewing machine & kitchen are on separate floors, so I have a portable timer I take with me. Up & down, repeat. Love the delivery too - great products.

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  2. I buy 25 lbs of flour when I pick it up too! Makes me wonder if I bake a little too much bread around here. Luckily I found out that Target of all places sells it for a little over three bucks for the 5 lb bags. AND the super stores carry the whole wheat, white whole wheat, and the bread flour, along with the all purpose! Okay, yup, I definitely bake too much!

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  3. YUM! I have a similar recipe for a fish with lemon parsley sauce from the same magazine that's a family favorite! I'm crazy about anything with lemons in it though! I love to bake too, but I don't think I've ever had that much flour in our house LOL!

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  4. I buy 25 pound bags of all-purpose and bread flour (Costco). I thought I was the only non-restaurant-owning person who did that! I used to make chicken piccata all the time, got tired of pounding the meat, and then forgot about it over time. My recipe was very similar to yours, I'll have to try it again. I loved it, and it was something the whole family liked. A miracle!

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