A Very Special Guest Post: Veal Piccata

I’m not the only one who likes to don the apron in this kitchen. Well, actually my boyfriend would never ever don an apron, he prefers to cook in pre-1993 Knick’s jerseys. He made this delicious chicken (impressive since I don’t really care for chicken) for me a few months ago and I’ve been bugging him ever since to give me the recipe. When he forgot to take this amazing greek salad* I made him for lunch last week he felt so guilty that he finally gave me this recipe.

*Post coming later this week.

So, I am now very happy to present Patrick’s Veal Piccata:

It’s taken me now over 2 months to write this, and I’m not exactly sure why. It could be because a) I’m lazy b) the NBA season is upon us and scouring Knicks blogs has devoured all of my free time c) I’ve never written on a food blog before and I have no idea what I’m doing but I think it’s most likely that d) this dish feels entirely too “college/bachelor-y” for this platform, and either sub- or super- consciously (or both) I don’t think it’s worthy of the Kitchen Princess, so I’ve been dragging my feet. While she does rule with a gentle fist, and allows her subjects to speak freely, appearing in her court is intimidating for a commoner like myself.

But, in an attempt to have her kingdom look upon me with favor, I bring my offerings of veal piccata* (*this isn’t so much a misnomer as it is just an entirely different dish than I made; having failed in finding adequate veal, I used thinly sliced chicken instead, but it worked just fine [you can use either]).

Okay, looking at the framework of previous posts, I think I’m supposed to start by crediting Emeril Lagasse for this recipe, and saying something like:

 VEAL PICCATA

(Serves 4)

You Will Need:

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 veal scallops, about 3/4 pound, pounded to a thickness of 1/8-inch

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 tablespoons butter

1 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 lemon, juiced, or more to taste, (about 2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoon capers, drained

1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves, optional, plus sprigs for garnish

Method:

1. I think it’s important to note and then to stress, upfront, the importance of making sure your chicken is cut thin. Like, as thin as a veal scallop. Otherwise it just won’t be crispy and instead of a delicious golden crust, you’ll have soggy flakes crumbling off of the chicken and it will be not awesome. Now that you’ve made sure of this, combine the flour, and 1 ½ teaspoons of the salt and pepper in a bowl or on a plate and mix it thoroughly. Then dredge the chicken in this mixture until the chicken is fully coated with the flour. Once you’ve done this, it’s probably not the worst idea to give the chicken a shake to knock off any clumps or excess flour.

2. The next step is heating the oil in a skillet. You want to get the pan really hot for this dish, so get the oil as hot as you can without it smoking. Once you’re here, add 1 1/5 tablespoons of butter.

3. Now cook the chicken until it’s “golden brown” (says Emeril) on both sides—1 minute per side. You can cook all four pieces at the same time if you’d like, but I do think browning each separately will give you more control and a better crisp of the chicken. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

4. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and bring to a boil. The recipe I used calls to scrape and remove “any browned bits from the bottom of the pan”. Which you can certainly do, but I happen to like the flavor of burnt anything, so I left them in.

5. Once the wine has reduced by half, throw in the chicken stock, garlic (chopped), lemon juice and capers. I like my piccata dishes as lemony and caper-y as possible, so I use much more of each than the recipe calls for. I’d say use a minimum of 1 juiced lemon and 2 tablespoons of capers, and then increase to taste. Cook this until the sauce has thickened a bit (about 5 mins) and then whisk in the remaining salt (1/2 teaspoon) and butter (3 ½ tablespoons) and the chopped parsley.

6. Once all the butter has melted, throw the chicken back into the pan and cook it until it’s cooked through. Really, it just needs to be enough so that you’re not eating raw chicken (about 1 minute). That would make you sick.

7. Garnish with parsley, but only if you’d like to. As an institution, I don’t support the purely aesthetic garnish, so I skipped this step. Then . . . SERVE IMMEDIATELY (I’ve always wanted to say that).

I’d encourage you to improvise as you go. If you feel like being deliciously gross, maybe you throw in more butter. LOTS more. That’s cool. Or more white wine. Also cool. Shit, I was temped to pour melted cheese on top of the whole thing. Why?–My one kitchen rule of thumb: other than fish (excluding tuna melts [clearly]), fruit and certain desserts, all food is immediately enhanced by dumping melted cheese on it.

So, do you’re thing.

Boom. First post, in the bag.

2 thoughts on “A Very Special Guest Post: Veal Piccata

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