As you know, September is chicken month; this lean, healthy meat source if already a staple in many family’s diets, but it can get a bit boring after a while. Leave it to the Italians to spice things up with this traditional, zesty lemon sauce used to accompany a simple pan-cooked chicken breast.
Chicken Piccata with Pasta and Green Beans
1 poung green beans, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into bite-size pieces
1 bay leaf Salt and pepper
1/2 pound linguine
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup drained capers
handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Place green beans in a steamer or in a pan with 2 inches of water. Add 1 quarter of fresh lemon and 1 bay leaf, cover, and steam until bright green, about 15 minutes. Drain beans, toss with salt and olive oil to taste, and set aside.
Concurrently, bring a salted pot of water to boil and cook pasta as directed. Drain and set aside when done.
Meanwhile, place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with the bottom of a heavy skillet until chicken is 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. On a plate, mix the flour and cornstarch. Coat the chicken in the flour mixture.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and let it foam up, then add the chicken breasts and cook, turning once, until golden-brown and firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cookie sheet and place in a 325-degree oven to finish cooking on the inside.
Wipe out the pan and return to the heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to melt. Stir in the garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute, then stir in the wine for another minute. Add 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel and the juice of 3/4 of lemon. Thinly slice the remaining lemon and stir the slices into the sauce, along with the capers and parsley. Spoon the sliced lemons and half of the butter sauce over the chicken.
To serve, place one chicken breast, one scoop of green beans, and one small helping of past on each plate. Drizzle lemon sauce over entire dish.
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