Chicken piccata is one of my favorite dishes, but surprisingly we had never made it before. It was part of our Culinary Resolutions for 2009, and it didn’t take us long before we could cross it off the list.
I like this dish because it’s nice and lemony and buttery. Pure simplicity and deliciousness! Adding the lemon juice toward the end of the cooking time helps keep it tasting fresh. Also, adding the capers when the sauce is nearly done helps retain their structural integrity. Be sure to rinse the capers to remove some of the salt. Instead of prosciutto, we used Spanish jamon serrano, because we happened to have two pounds of it in our refrigerator. The prosciutto and capers should supply enough salt to the sauce, so adding extra at the end may not be necessary.
Chicken Piccata with Prosciutto
- 2 large lemons
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5 to 6 ounces each), fat trimmed
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small shallot, minced, or 1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1 by 1/4-inch pieces
- Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position, set a large heatproof serving or dinner plate on the rack, and heat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Halve one lemon pole to pole. Trim the ends from one half and cut it crosswise into slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick; set aside. Juice the remaining half and whole lemon to obtain 1/4 cup juice; reserve.
- Sprinkle both sides of the cutlets generously with salt and pepper. Measure the flour into a shallow baking dish or pie plate. Working with one cutlet at a time, coat with the flour and shake to remove the excess.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Lay half of the chicken cutlets in the skillet. Saute the cutlets until lightly browned on the first side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Turn the cutlets and cook until the second side is lightly browned, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes longer. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the cutlets to the plate in the oven. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the now-empty skillet and heat until shimmering. Add the remaining chicken cutlets and repeat.
- Add the prosciutto and shallot to the now-empty skillet and return the skillet to medium heat. Saute until fragrant and the prosciutto is just lightly crisped, about 45 seconds.
- Add the broth and lemon slices, increase the heat to high, and scrape the pan bottom with a wooden spoon or spatula to loosen the browned bits. Simmer until the liquid reduces to about 1/3 cup, about 4 minutes.
- Add the reserved lemon juice and capers and simmer until the sauce reduces again to 1/3 cup, about 1 minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in the butter until it melts and thickens the sauce. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.