Chicken Salad Piccata
Apparently a traditional piccata is supposed to have capers.
And in a battle between capers vs. bacon, guess which one always wins?
Dang straight it does.
I know this is another savory recipe in a row, but one of my readers is 100% right: people are more likely to try a savory recipe vs. a sweet one; myself included. Later this week, though, I have something really fun to share - so keep those sweet teeth lined up and ready to go.
I loved the texture of this salad - the potatoes weren't mushy as expected. They were cooked perfectly, and the beans were cooked through well enough that they still maintained their integrity in the crisp department, and didn't turn the nasty-overcooked-green-bean color. The bacon was a genius addition, if I must say. But then again, bacon almost always is. The reason this dish is called a piccata, I've learned, is that it's coated in a light lemony sauce - I drenched the veggies in it, but I didn't want the coating on the chicken to get soggy. So the chicken was added in after the said coating. The lemon sauce added such brightness to the flavors, and really brought the beans and potatoes to life.
This weekend was really beautiful. Ryan and I were able to actually hang out together. We went out to dinner, got a Redbox (Don't Back Down is awesome, btw), went on a couple walks as a little family, and were able to just enjoy each other's company without a computer staring either one of us in the face. And that, my friends, is really how it should be.
One, this is because Ryan took a wee break before finishing up his very-last-law-school-paper-ever this week. And two, because I completely made a grave error in handing my son his sippy cup in which the lid can be easily removed... by him... all over my laptop...
To say it's been devastating would be a gross understatement.
But it's also been a good thing - I went through computer withdrawals, and that's kind of sad. It was good for me to unplug for a while, and I found myself becoming more creative in the "hanging out with the kid" department. Even though my computer is torched, some good came out of it.
And yes, we'll probably be looking for a new computer this week so I don't have to commandeer Ryan's computer when he's in the bathroom/sleeping/eating/catching the end of an NBA playoff game. Wish us luck!
Chicken Salad Piccata
makes about 4 servings
1/2 lbs small red potatoes, quartered
1/2 lb green beans, keep them whole, or half crosswise
1/4 C + 2 T extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 strips bacon, cooked crisp, chopped
1/4 C fresh flat-leaf parsley
grated peel and juice of 1/2 lemon
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, trimmed, sliced sideways, and lightly pounded
2 large eggs
1 C flour
1 C Italian bread crumbs + 1/2 C panko
salt & pepper
1/4 C chicken broth
1. In a large saucepan, add the potatoes and enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Keeping water boiling, remove potatoes from water using a slotted spoon and transfer to a colander.
2. Add green beans to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, stir while cooking. Drain in colander with potatoes, let cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup EVOO, cooked bacon, 3 T parsley, the lemon peel, and half the lemon juice. Add potatoes and beans to mixture and toss gently (you don't want the potatoes to get mushy). Season with salt and pepper, set aside.
4. Bread the chicken: In a large saucepan, drizzle a little EVOO, bring heat to medium. Prepare 3 bowls: one bowl for the whisked eggs + a very small splash of water, one bowl for the flour, and one bowl for the Italian bread crumbs + panko.
5. When oil is warm (not hot enough to pop), dunk chicken one at a time - first in the flour, then in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs (*one hand for wet ingredients, one hand for dry ingredients, or else you'll make a mess and hate me*). After coated, gently lay coated chicken in heated oil. Repeat with the other three chicken breast portions. Season with salt & pepper.
6. Cook on one side until bottom gets toasty brown, then flip. Cook about 2 minutes, then put a lid over pan and turn down to a very small simmer. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until center hits 160 degrees with a meat thermometer. You want juicy chicken? Remove the chicken from the pan, place on a plate/cutting board for 5 minutes - don't cut into them. Let those juices seep back in to the chicken first. Slice chicken crosswise, then toss into potato & bean salad.
7. While pan is still warm/hot, pour in chicken broth and bring to almost a boil - scrape up any chicken bits. Add in remaining lemon juice & parsley. Let reduce a little until sauce forms/thickens. Pour over veggies & chicken.
recipe adapted from: everyday with Rachael Ray magazine - breading technique is my own.