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BackstoryThis dish is traditionally made with Veal Scaloppine (Scalloped veal - Thin sliced veal, dredged in flour and pan fried in butter and olive oil), however, the use of chicken has become extremely popular. I suspect this is partially due to the dubious origins of veal in the US. Veal crates were banned in 1990 by the UK and in 2007 by the EU. Yet another agricultural issue in which the US is always behind, especially when the almighty dollar is involved, right along with the continued use of rBST/rBGH (Canada, the EU, Australia and New Zealand have all banned its usage).
While I am on a tangent about recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, it is produced by genetically tampering with E. Coli bacteria. Doesn't that bake your noodle?
There is hope for the US unenlightened agricultural practices though. The AVA (American Veal Association) has announced that they are instituting a 10 year plan to phase out the use of crating.
Personally, I think they are missing a marketing opportunity. The words FREE RANGE are extremely popular right now, labeling everything from Chicken and Eggs to Cheese and Coffee Beans. (Yes, the coffee beans are free to scamper about the hillsides of Colombia) There is no reason the calves could not be allowed to run, jump and play, then simply slap a Free Range sticker on it and charge twice the price Sounds lucrative to me. And a lot more humane.
Oh, incidentally, the term Piccata refers to the Caper/Lemon pan sauce poured over the chicken. Without the sauce, this is simply Chicken Scaloppine
- 4 chicken breasts (About 24 oz total) You can use Cutlets and skip the butterfly'ing
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 2 TB oil
- 3 TB butter
- 1/4 cup Dry White wine
- 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 TB capers drained
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- thin slices of lemon for garnish
- “Scallop”, Butterfly or pound the chicken to between 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick
- Mix Flour with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture.
- Heat the oil and butter in heavy skillet or sauté pan.
- Brown quickly on both sides giving the chicken sufficient time to cook meat thru.
- Move to a warm platter and tent to keep warm
- Pour off all but 2 TB of the fat.
- Add wine and lemon juice to deglaze the pan
- Heat to a boil while scraping the bottom of the pan to release the fond.
- When reduced by half add the capers and lemon zest; stir to combine.
- Pour piccata sauce over chicken, sprinkle with chopped parsley and garnish with thin sliced lemons.
- Serve immediately