Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chicken Piccata and Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Butter

Call me a country bumpkin, but typically, I stick with southern, soul-healing, homestyle meals.  Tonight, I decided to step outside my comfort zone and get fancy.  I was a little nervous at first, but this actually ended up being one of my husband's favorite meals to date! Don't be alarmed by all the directions; it's really not time consuming or difficult at all.  I just separated all the steps to make it easier to follow.

Chicken Piccata
(Recipe from http://okilleatthat.tumblr.com/)

2 large lemons
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat
salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chicken broth or stock
2 tbsp small capers, drained
3 tbsp butter softened
fresh parsley

1) Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, set large heatproof plate on rack, and heat to 200 degrees.
2) Halve one of the lemons pole to pole and trim the ends of one of the halves.  Cut trimmed-end half into slices and set aside.  Juice the remaining half along with the other lemon and reserve juice, 1/4 cup juice.
3) Sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper.
4) Measure flour into baking dish.  Coat each chicken breasts with flour and shake to remove excess.
5) Heat heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes. 
6) Add 2 tbsp oil and swirl to coat.
7) Lay 2 of the chicken breasts in skillet and saute, without moving them, for 1 1/2-2 minutes.  Turn and saute another 1 1/2-2 minutes, without moving.
8) Remove pan from heat and transfer chicken to plate in oven.
9) Return skillet to heat and repeat steps 6-8 for remaining chicken breasts.
10) In same skillet, add garlic and return to medium heat.  Saute until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
11) Add broth or stock and lemon slices, increasing heat to high, and scrape skillet with spatula to loosen brown bits.  Simmer about 4 minutes.
12) Add lemon juice and capers and simmer another minute.
13) Remove pan from heat and add butter.  Let sit until butter melts and sauce thickens.
14) Spoon sauce over chicken and top with parsley.  Serve immediately.

Asparagus with Lemon Butter

Juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp butter
salted water
1 bunch of asparagus
olive oil
salt to taste

1) Wash asparagus and cut off bottoms and tough ends, lining up the tops.
2) Fill a large skillet half full of salted water and bring to a boil.  Dump in all asparagus and return to boil, cook for 3 minutes. Drain.
3) Return asparagus to hot pot and squeeze lemon juice on top.
4) Fry with olive oil and butter.
5) Add salt to taste.

Soundtrack: (it's a 90's kinda night, y'all)
Sixpence None the Richer- "Kiss Me"
The Cardigans- "Lovefool"
Gin Blossoms- "Hey Jealousy"

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