One evening earlier this year, I came home to a stunning dinner prepared by my husband. This is not unusual, especially since I went back to work full time. But that particular night it wasn’t one of our usual stand by’s that he had thoughtfully whipped up so we both wouldn’t starve. No, it was a recipe he had perused the internet for (using Food52, my favorite recipe sharing site by far), looking for something to break us out of our busy weeknight mealtime rut.
As it turns out, he deeply regrets making me that meal. Why? Because it turned out very, very well and I have since asked him to make it on multiple occasions. Like tonight, while I am still recovering from surgery, and can ask for these extra special favors.
It is an easy recipe, especially if your role is like mine. Yes, we do have everything to make it. I got the chicken out of the freezer. I bought plenty of chicken broth last time I was at Costco. There are more capers in the pantry. That, coupled with our policy of always having a shallot in the fridge (his idea, I swear!) mean it is my lucky night again and as I type this my husband is in the kitchen whipping up what is sure to be a delicious meal.
Now, obviously, this recipe is not our own. It is not even Food52’s really. Food52 is a recipe sharing site, so there are thousands of contributors. When you see Test Kitchen Approved, as this one is, or Community Pick- well, then you know you have something good. Jason chose Linda Johnson’s recipe for Classic Chicken Piccata. There are multiple Piccata recipes on there, but we like this one so well we wanted to share it with you. I encourage you to make your own account while you are on there. It’s free, and you can save anything that tickles your fancy until you are ready to make your own meal time magic.
Dredge the chicken in flour right before adding it to the frying pan and brown well on both sides
We use a Greenpan ceramic non stick pan for this recipe. We love these pans, but they can tend to burn the flour a little as you are browning multiple batches of chicken. Jason transfers the chicken to a small rimmed baking sheet and keeps it warm in a 250° oven until the sauce and pasta are finished and we are ready to put it all together. He also has a special trick of wiping out the Greenpan with a paper towel before starting the sauce so there is no burnt flour in the sauce.
You don’t want to remove all the pan drippings, just any large pieces of burnt flour Use a rubber spatula to get the remaining pan drippings into the sauce
We also use less chicken, two large breasts, while keeping the amounts for the sauce the same. It’s important to reduce the liquid to concentrate the flavors, and you’ll want enough sauce left after for both the chicken and the angel hair pasta. For the pasta we recommend par boiling the water and having it nice and hot, but not starting the pasta until everything else is finished since it cooks so quickly. We serve it with what is known in our house as a “simple salad”, mixed lettuces tossed in olive oil and balsamic with a little freshly ground pepper.