May 08, 2011

Chicken Piccata

Mr. Sideline Chef, itty bitty, and I lived in a motel in Washington for over a year while Mr. Sideline Chef was working there. Itty bitty was 4 months old at the time and still being a relatively new mama I resorted to take out meals quite often. Anything quick, easy, and no fuss for me to clean up. The motel room we had did have a kitchen in it. It was small and not very fun to cook in. Plus, I was not at all on a health kick and eating out was such an easy answer.

One evening Mr. Sideline Chef decided to check out a local bar. He came home telling me that it wasn't just "bar food" it was "Italian-style bar food". He wanted to take me there. For starters, we were living in a motel with a baby. Who was going to watch itty bitty? Funny thing is, the motel we were living in is the same one we met at while I was an employee there. When we had returned to live there a year after I quit to be with him a good friend of mine was working there. She had agreed to watch itty bitty for us so we could have our first date night since he had been born.

After we put him to sleep she had arrived and we walked down a block to the bar. It was a very casual and laid back kind of atmosphere. Mr. Sideline Chef and I gravitate toward those kind of places. We put in our drink orders and then ordered some food. By date night, a couple of weeks had passed and Mr. Sideline Chef had made good friends with the owner, his wife, and the busty bartender, go figure, a boob man. The owner took our order but instead offered to make me something special that wasn't on the menu. A surprise! I loved it. I was game for trying anything.

When he came out of the kitchen and set my meal in front of me I was blown away at what I was eating at a bar. Chicken Piccata on a bed of spaghetti noodles and a side of teriyaki fried spinach. Mind blowingly good. After that night and my first taste of the Chicken Piccata, Mr. Sideline Chef would get sent back a couple of times a week over the course of the year. Addicting!

We've been back here in Texas about a year and a half and I often crave that meal. I had never thought twice to make it myself until flipping through the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook and then a craving so overwhelming took over me when I saw the picture of their Chicken Piccata. Would it be as good as the "original"?

Just as good, if not better! Quick and easy to prepare and for minimal calories it has some serious flavor play going on. Oh the capers! My first time having capers was at that bar and I fell in love with their salty vinegar brined taste. To help keep the sodium count under control make sure to choose the brine-packed capers.

The next time a craving hits for that Chicken Piccata I'm reaching for this recipe!

Chicken Piccata
Makes 4 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken tenders
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley - I used dried parsley since that is what I had on hand.
  • 2 tsp capers, minced - Skipped the mincing. Just didn't read the ingredients list properly.
  • ground black pepper
And Action:

Lay the chicken tenders on a work surface. With a rolling pin covered in plastic wrap, flatten to 1/4" thickness. Dredge the cutlets lightly in the flour.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the skillet and heat until sizzling. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned and cooked through.

Add the lemon juice, parsley, and capers. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Season to taste with the black pepper. Serve the chicken with the pan juices. Over a bed of whole wheat noodles would be delicious.

Nutritional Information:
MUFA: Olive oil
Calories: 235
Protein: 21 g
Carbohydrates: 4 g
Fat: 15 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 49 mg
Sodium: 108 mg
Fiber: 0 g


Warren Caterson said...

I'm with you on the recipe. But the background story adds so much personality. Thanks!

Pretend Chef said...

Warren - No, thank you! So happy you stopped by for this recipe.

Lizzy said...

Oh, yummy! I love chicken piccata...and the whole family donates their share of capers to me :) I love that your recipe uses just the chicken tenders...great idea.

Pretend Chef said...

Lizzy - I can't get enough of the capers. Yummy!

marla said...

Love chicken piccata and have not had it forever- need to change that!

Pretend Chef said...

Marla - If you make it, you'll have to tell me if you liked it!

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