'Veal or Chicken Piccata (with mushrooms)' by: Shaun Fernandez
This is a simple, nearly fool-proof, elegant, and tasty dish that was taught to me by my neighbor who lived 2 apartments away. His name was Paul. The man is Italian; eats, breathes, and lives it. Cooks and speaks with a calm grace that exudes experience and confidence. I was lucky enough to tag along with him on a catering gig one Christmas. This is when he showed me. (To be fair, he taught me w/o mushrooms)
I would like for you to notice here I am only using salt and pepper for spice, which are the only things I use 80% of the time... and I'm from Louisiana! Paul taught me to respect your ingredients.
To start, you'll need:
1) 2 chicken breasts or 1 lb of milk fed veal
2) 1/2 stick butter (salted or unsalted, just add more later)
3) 2 Tablespoons of Capers (and some of da' juice)
4) 1 small pack of Mushrooms (Buttons or Bella's)
5) 1/4 cup white wine
6) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
7) Salt and Pepper
8) 1 lemon
9) All purpose flour
10) Angel hair pasta
Optional: 1/4 cup Heavy cream
Start by getting 2 chicken breasts on your cutting board and your Chef's knife. Cut them into 3 pieces each. You can do this however you like; in strips or on the bias. I cut mine on a bias to get a flatter cut with more surface area. Pounding them flat is the original method here, and is where the name of the dish comes from. Cut your veal into thin slices if it isn't already, as well as your mushrooms.
Get a medium sauce pan and boil some water for your angel hair. Add the angel hair at any point when the water is ready... we're trusting you!
Next, get a small/medium bowl ready with 1 cup flour and place on the side. Salt and Pepper your chicken. Get a large saute pan with 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil, turned on to medium heat. Now, dredge the chicken in the flour to get a light coating all the way around. By the time you are finished this step, your oil should be ready to go!
Last, we need to add the wine to deglaze all that brown goodness in the pan. Reduce it until you don't smell alcohol anymore. Now add your butter and mushrooms. Juice 1/2 lemon into pan, 1 whole lemon if you like more. Add capers and some of da' juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium until mushrooms have started wilting. Remove from heat and add heavy cream. (if you must. I always do!!)
Hopefully you didn't forget about your pasta while all this was going on! Place a small portion of pasta on the plate, followed with 2 nice medallions of chicken or veal stacked on the side and topped with a few spoons of that creamy, savory sauce. Garnish with some loosely chopped parsley and/or lemon slices. Enjoy!
If you have any recipes or cooking tips you'd like feature next month, contact us! We're more than happy to tackle your cooking problems and get you on your way to hosting great dinner parties and events. Good cutting, good eating, and gool living. Ciao!
Shaun Fernandez, editor