Few things are as rewarding as beating the hell out of a raw piece of chicken. It’s cathartic AND delicious.

It’s also the first step for making Ina Garten’s Chicken Piccata, one of this month’s Barefoot Bloggers recipes. Traditionally, Chicken Piccata is a seasoned, breaded chicken breast served with a sauce made from pan drippings, white wine, capers, lemon and butter.  With Ina’s version, the chicken finishes in the oven while you make the sauce – minus the pan drippings and capers.

The sauce. It is extremely tart and lemony. Even with three tablespoons of butter, it’ll make you wince and pucker. NOT the sort of sauce you want to indiscriminately pour over the chicken, unless you’re carrying a lot of self-loathing. Instead, taste it first, and then decide how much you want. Otherwise, all of that sweet raw-chicken catharsis will be wasted, and how crappy is that?

Chicken Piccata

Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa at Home”

Serves 2

  • 2 split (1 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • Good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Sliced lemon, for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound out to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the egg and 1/2 tablespoon of water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread crumb mixtures.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan and allow them to bake for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the sauce.
  5. For the Sauce: Wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and then add the lemon juice, wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves.
  6. Serve 1 chicken breast on each plate. Spoon on the sauce and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.