This is another one of those recipes that I fell in love with before I had even tried it, based solely on the ingredients. It’s got wine and lemon (two of my favorite things) and they’re accented by briny capers and artichoke hearts. The chicken gets pounded, making it extra tender and juicy. In fact, Joseph was doing such a good job pounding it that our landlady, who lives upstairs, called to make sure everything was ok.
We’ve made this chicken piccata before and I’ve always loved it, but I’ve never had as much fun making it as I did when we made it this past Sunday night. That ‘s because when our credit card cash back reward rolled in, we rolled out to Hunt’s Photo and Video and got my new love: the Canon 60mm macro.
Ever since I was little, I have always loved to zoom in on things. We got some kids’ magazine in elementary school that I remember nothing about (including the name) except that on the back it would always have six images that were extremely zoomed-in images of various things. It would just show a square of the image and you were supposed to guess what the picture was of, things like a zipper or a bug’s wing. I was mesmerized by how familiar objects became so abstract by zooming in on just a tiny piece of it. That nameless magazine completely changed my perspective on things.
Over the years, I’ve always wanted to really get up and close to the images I was photographing, but I’ve always been restricted by my minimum focusing distance. Not any more! OK, this lens may not be able to give me to focus in as closely as those photos that I used to love on that magazine. But it does allow me to get in so much closer than I could before and with such crispness! I’ve been having so much fun with it. So it was a really good thing that we had a late lunch because dinner took a very, very long time to make, which is quite a feat because this is actually (normally) a really fast dinner to throw together.
We paired the chicken with some Eins Zwei Dry, a dry Riesling that we completely fell in love with at a wine tasting at The Spirited Gourmet last Saturday. For the cooking wine we used a cheaper and less exciting but still drinkable Chardonnay. It was the perfect way to celebrate our new toy.
Chicken Piccata with Lemon, Capers and Artichoke Hearts
Adapted from Robin Miller
4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and ground black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, quartered
1/4 cup drained capers
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup frozen lima beans
Cook the rice according to package directions, adding the lima beans when the rice has about 8 minutes to go.
Place the chicken in zip-lock bags and pound with a meat pounder or a rolling pin until 1/4-inch thick. Take the chicken out and season all over with salt and black pepper. Combine the flour, lemon zest, paprika, and garlic powder in a shallow dish and mix well. Add the chicken and turn to coat it all over with the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour when you remove each chicken breast.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and saute until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Add the lemon juice, wine, and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts and capers and simmer until heated through, about 1 minute.
Serve the chicken, capers, and artichoke hearts with the sauce and the rice.