Bechamel sauce is one of the mother sauces. It’s pretty easy to make, but requires nearly constant whisking. It adds a richness that cheese simply can’t match.
Chicken Piccata can seem a daunting dish to new cooks. There are a few steps that may be new to you. Butterflying. Dredging. Searing. Deglazing. But those are just words. Hopefully, this walkthrough removes the fear and helps you unlock some advanced skills to add to your arsenal. Worst case scenario: you burn the food and end up going out for pizza. Sounds like either way you win.
If you’ve never had chicken piccata, it’s a breaded piece of chicken that’s lightly fried. Then the sauce is a rich, thick mix of garlic, lemon, white wine and capers. There are some extra ingredients most recipes call for. They are nice to haves, but not essential. I always hated buying new ingredients for a new dish that now sit in a cabinet.
The key to executing this dish well is prepping your ingredients before your start frying the chicken. As you get more comfortable, you can condense some steps and multi-task. I start heating my pan on low heat before cutting and breading the chicken. If you’ve never made chicken this way, focus on doing one thing at a time. I am fortunate to have a stellar sous chef who assists me with chopping. If you have a friend or date, a lot of meal prep can be done together. This dish is great because we made asparagus as the side dish. So my girlfriend prepped that while I focused on the main dish.
Prep Steps for Chicken Piccata
Depending the size of your chicken breasts, you may need to trim them to a more manageable size. The purpose for this is even cooking and to expedite the nom nom in your mouth. If the chicken is too thick (more than 3/4 inch), it will take longer to cook to temperature (aiming for 165). So what are you going to do if your hormone-filled bird is too big? Place the chicken breast on your cutting board, then, press your flat palm down on the chicken. With a sharp chef’s knife in your other hand, run the knife parallel to the cutting board halfway up the height of the chicken. This will create two thinner fillets of chicken.
Want to skip this step? Cool. To best cook the chicken without burning it on the stove, use an oven-safe pan. After your fry the chicken, pop the pan into a 350 degree oven. Let the chicken cook for 20ish minutes.
The rest of the steps are pretty straight forward.
The asparagus dish was really good and pretty quick. Again, for new cooks it can seem tough and there are pitfalls to boiling the eggs (optional, but tasty addition) and creating the vinaigrette. If you missed the recipe earlier this week, head over here for the full instructions.
Some days you just want to act like a kid and devour a whole stack of pancakes.
But, you know what makes pancakes even better? Pancakes shaped like a pig.
My sister gave my girlfriend a pig pan at Christmas and we tabled our normal cereal routine or eggs to test it out. Modifying this recipe for banana pancakes from My Baking Addiction, we embarked on our breakfast adventure.
The main changes were to add more cinnamon and swap almond milk for regular milk. I love cinnamon and find most recipes never have enough. When using shaped pans, it’s a good idea to make sure you use some butter or cooking spray to prevent sticking. After the pan heats up, add a small sliver of butter and swirl it around the pan to cover all the corners.
You’ll need to setup a second pan for the dramatic pig flip. It’s best if you have a griddle or a shallow pan. The closer you can get the pig pan to the griddle, the less your pig’s brain will escape. We dodged any pig massacres.
If you aren’t experienced in making pancakes, when the batter starts to bubble or you see the edges curl up/in, those are good indicators that it’s time to flip.
We served ours with warmed maple syrup and just enough Reddi-Whip to guarantee my insulin levels were nearing the danger zone.
These may just make you oink like a swine for another serving.