Sunday, July 30, 2006

Chicken Piccata & Bread Salad

I really am trying to make smart choices in cooking. Of course, this was a Sunday dinner, so it had to be a little fancy. We had the leftover No-Cook Tomato Basil Pasta from last night plus:

Chicken Piccata

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded thin or butterflied if you want, but I just left mine as is, straight out of the freezer)
  • 1/2 can chicken broth
  • Juice of one lemon
  • One large clove of garlic, smashed but not chopped
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (eyeball it) chopped parsley
  • About 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Capers (optional)

In a heavy skillet, place frozen chicken breasts, broth, lemon juice and garlic. Cover and simmer pm medium low about 15 minutes, turning occasionally. When cooked almost through, remove from pan. Reserve broth, straining first.

Add butter and olive oil to the pan--I wash the pan first--and turn pan to medium high. (NO NON-STICK PANS!). Return chicken to skillet and let brown, about 5 minutes each side.

Remove meat once again. Add pepper and parsley. Whisk some leftover broth with cornstarch in a cup till thin and lumps are gone, then add sparingly to sauce. Do this slowly. You don't want a sticky mess, just to thicken it slightly.

Sprinkle parmesan on chicken, then add sauce and capers. Garnish with parsley.

I have nice homemade bread that's just one day past eating for sandwiches. I also have lots of tomatoes from our backyard plants and the farmstand. Here's a simple recipe that celebrates the flavors of summer. It's all eyeballed and to your taste. Go easy. And remember, the bread is supposed to be soggy. It's bread salad.

Bread Salad (Panzanella) day-old homemade bread or other bakery bread--crusts are great--Cut fresh, juicy tomatoes, at least a pound, in coarse pieces. Whatever you do, don't dice into nothingness. This is not about mashed tomatoes. Throw on top of the bread.

Peel and slice a cucumber into 1/2 inch chunks. Don't worry about the seeds. They're good for you.

Add either thinly sliced red onion or chopped scallion (aka green onion).

Tear fresh basil--don't chop it. Throw it in.

Let it all sit for a while, then add 1/4 cup olive oil with a splash of balsamic vinegar whisked in. Season with salt & pepper. Taste. You might want to repeat the olive oil and vinegar.

Please, please, don't use store-bought Italian dressing or vinagrette. The fresh, summery flavors need only to be highlighted by the oil and vinegar, not overpowered by corn syrup, soybean oil, and artificial flavors.

1 comment:

Matt D said...

Yay, you fixed it! Yum. Now I just have to talk my wife into making it for me.