Traditional chicken piccata recipes are usually a fairly healthy choice; but unfortunately, most restaurants prepare it using loads of butter and fatty chicken stock. With just a few adjustments, this low-fat, Light Chicken Piccata will have you indulging in one of Italy’s finest cuisine contributions. This light tasting, delicious classic Italian meal will transport you to a Venice piazza – without having to leave your kitchen table!
Light Chicken Piccata
- 1 large shallow bowl or plate
- 1 large non-stick skillet
- 1 platter
- 1 spatula or wooden spoon
- ½ pound whole wheat pasta
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼ inch thickness
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon each paprika and garlic powder
- ¼ cup low sodium chicken broth (or dry white wine)
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- juice of one large lemon
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained (I have also made this dish using sliced mushroom for those who do not like capers)
- additional large lemon for garnish (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, combine the flour, pepper, salt, paprika and garlic in a large shallow bowl or plate. Place the chicken into the flour mixture and coat each chicken breast well.
- In a large non-stick skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat for about 1 minute. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook about 3 -4 minutes on each side (but do not overcook). Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover to keep warm.
- Add the chicken broth (or wine) to the skillet and, using a spatula or wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.
- Stir in the lemon juice and capers and cook for about 2 minutes to heat through. Place the chicken breasts on top of the pasta and pour the sauce over top.
Mastering the art of cooking Light Chicken Piccata requires a few insider tips and tricks. In this section, I’ll share valuable insights to ensure you achieve the best results with this delectable recipe. Additionally, I’ll shed light on common mistakes to avoid, helping you create a flawless dish that will impress even the most discerning palates.
- Achieving Tender Chicken: To ensure tender chicken cutlets, pound them gently with a meat mallet to an even thickness before cooking. This technique promotes even cooking and prevents dryness, resulting in succulent chicken piccata.
- The Perfect Lemon Balance: When incorporating lemon juice into the sauce, start with a smaller amount and gradually add more to achieve the desired tanginess. Taste as you go to strike the perfect balance between bright citrus and other flavors.
- Mindful Capers: Capers add a delightful briny note to Light Chicken Piccata. Before adding them to the dish, rinse them under cold water to remove excess saltiness. This step ensures a well-balanced flavor profile.
- Optimal Pan Temperature: When sautéing the chicken, preheat the pan over medium-high heat until it’s hot but not smoking. This allows for a golden-brown sear without overcooking the chicken.
- Thickening the Sauce: If you prefer a slightly thicker sauce, you can whisk in a small amount of cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water) during the final minutes of cooking. This will add a velvety texture to the sauce.
Serving & Storing Your Light Chicken Piccata
Light Chicken Piccata is a versatile dish that can be paired with various sides, garnishes, and beverages. In this section, I’ll provide detailed recommendations to enhance your dining experience. From complementary sides to creative serving ideas, you’ll discover exciting ways to elevate this already delightful dish.
- Recommended Sides: Serve Light Chicken Piccata with al dente angel hair pasta or buttery mashed potatoes to soak up the delicious lemon sauce. Steamed asparagus, roasted Brussels sprouts, or a refreshing arugula salad make excellent vegetable accompaniments, adding vibrant colors and textures to your plate.
- Garnish with Freshness: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over the chicken piccata just before serving. The vibrant green color and herbaceous aroma will elevate the visual appeal and add a burst of freshness to each bite.
- Creative Serving Ideas: For an elegant presentation, arrange the chicken piccata slices on a bed of fluffy basmati rice, drizzling the tangy sauce over the top. Alternatively, you can roll the chicken and sauce in warm flour tortillas for a delightful chicken piccata wrap.
- Beverage Pairings: Complement the flavors of Light Chicken Piccata with a crisp white wine such as Chardonnay or a light-bodied Sauvignon Blanc. For non-alcoholic options, consider serving a refreshing lemon-infused sparkling water or a citrusy iced tea to enhance the tangy notes of the dish.
- Leftover Reinvention: If you have any leftovers, transform them into a delicious chicken piccata sandwich. Spread a layer of tangy mayo on a toasted ciabatta roll, add a few slices of chicken piccata, and top with fresh arugula for a quick and satisfying lunch.
Let’s address some common questions that may arise when preparing Light Chicken Piccata. From storage to reheating, these FAQs will provide you with the necessary information to ensure a seamless cooking experience.
Can I prepare Light Chicken Piccata in advance?
Absolutely! Light Chicken Piccata can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Keep the cooked chicken and sauce separate to maintain optimal freshness. When ready to serve, gently reheat the chicken in a skillet over low heat, adding a splash of chicken broth or water to prevent dryness.
How should I store any leftover Light Chicken Piccata?
To store leftover Light Chicken Piccata, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Ensure that the chicken and sauce are stored separately to maintain their flavors and textures. When reheating, gently warm the chicken in a skillet over low heat, adjusting the seasoning if needed.
Can I freeze Light Chicken Piccata?
While it’s best to enjoy Light Chicken Piccata fresh, you can freeze the cooked chicken for up to 2 months. Wrap the chicken tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a freezer-safe container. Thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
What can I substitute for capers in Light Chicken Piccata?
If you don’t have capers on hand or prefer to omit them, you can substitute chopped green olives or a small amount of chopped dill pickles. These alternatives will provide a similar briny andtangy flavor profile to complement the dish.
Can I use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?
Absolutely! While the traditional recipe calls for chicken breasts, you can certainly use boneless chicken thighs as a delicious alternative. Just keep in mind that the cooking time may vary slightly, as thighs tend to be juicier and require a few extra minutes on the stove. Ensure that the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.
In this comprehensive blog post, discover the secrets to creating a tantalizing Light Chicken Piccata. From cooking tips and serving suggestions to FAQs, we’ve got you covered. Don’t forget to share the recipe and subscribe to our blog for more culinary delights!