Chicken Piccata with Prosciutto

When I was in my early 20’s, one of my primary meals I used to cook to impress my dates was Chicken Piccata. The Italian name made it sound extravagant, it was certainly tasty, and also it only takes about 40 minutes of work.  Over the years, so many things have changed in my life, but I have still stuck with my same old recipe for Chicken Picatta; until today.

First of all, it’s not a fair comparison. We all know, other things being equal, anything with prosciutto is going to taste better than its prosciutto-less counterpart.

Ready in 40 minutes, with minimal mess.

The recipe is here. Put a baking sheet and rack in 200-degrees preheated oven. Slice the chicken horizontally, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. In hot skillet with 2 tablespoons oil, cook for 4 minutes per side.  When chicken is cooked put it in the preheated oven. There will be two batches. To prepare the sauce, saute 1 minced shallot and 2-ounces of diced prosciutto for 1 minutes. Add chicken stock and lemon slices and reduce until it measure about 1/3 cup. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice, and reduce again for about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat, swirl in 3 tablespoons butter until melted; add a little parsley. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

The result: 4 stars. The sauce was excellent. I thought I was going to miss the white wine from my old recipe, but the prosciutto added enough flavor. The other major difference was cooking each batch of chicken in 2 full tablespoons of oil; I used less and sometimes had a sticking problem.

Suggestions:

  1. Chris Kimball doesn’t call for pounding the chicken, so I didn’t tonight. Next time I think I will,  an even thickness will mean more even cooking.
  2. If I have the time, I usually pre-freeze my chicken for 30 minutes before slicing it horizontally. But if you don’t have the time, you just need to be a little more careful.
  3. Oh, no capers. I never liked them.
  4. If I make the recipe without prosciutto, I will still probably deglaze with 2/3-cup of white wine. The texture of the sauce will suffer a little, but the wine gives it an additional dimension of flavor.

Rating: 4 stars.
Cost: $7.00
How much work? Small.
How big of a mess?  Small.
Start time 6:00 PM. Dinner time 7:10 PM

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