Friday, January 20, 2012

Chicken Piccata with Angel Hair Pasta

Last night I came home to a sick baby with a fever of 104°F.  I have learned however not to panic at this high temperature. I mean, I tried not to panic.  Fever phobia comes with parenthood.  Even if the doctor says that it is the body's response to infection I still can't help but worry.  Also it does not help that fevers most often occur at night-- when the doctor's office is closed! Why is that?

So what is a Mom supposed to do with her child?  I gave Little S a warm bath and a dose of ibuprofen to help bring down the temperature.  In old wives tales you should not give a child a bath if she has fever but I find that a warm bath actually helps. It does not work for myself when I have fever, but I find that it works with Little S.  After an hour Sophia's fever went down by a couple of degrees, 102°F. Still high, but I felt more at ease.  It is important to note that ibuprofens and acetaminophens are called fever reducers and not fever eliminators.  I have to remember that otherwise I worry even more.

As a result there was not much time to make dinner last night.  It was tempting to call for delivery but between the time it takes for JPF and I to decide what/where to order, I thought it'd be quicker and less of a fuss to just make something.  I know a few dishes that I can whip up faster than waiting for the delivery guy to arrive.  One of them is Chicken Piccata, which thankfully I have all the ingredients available in the kitchen.

This dish should be in every home cook's repertoire.  I first learned how to make it when I was pregnant with Little S as I was watching one of my favorite celebrity chefs, Giada De Laurentiis.  Since then it has been on the rotation.  It tastes amazing and yet so simple and easy to make.  It is basically browned chicken cutlets with lemon-butter-caper sauce.  I like to make it with boneless chicken thighs as it is more flavorful and forgiving than the usual chicken breasts.  I only have to pound the thighs thinner for faster and even cooking.  One thing to note though is to add the lemon one teaspoon at a time.  Too much lemon can make the dish too tart and it is difficult to tone it down once it gets to that point.  At times I like to add dry white wine to deglaze the pan but it isn't really necessary.  I wouldn't buy it just for the dish but I admit it is nice to have a glass of wine with this dish.

6 skinless and boneless chicken thighs, pounded
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine (optional)

Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound lightly into 1/4 inch thickness.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper then dredge chicken in flour shaking off excess.

Heat a large skillet and melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter is browned (but not burned!), add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes each side.  Remove chicken and set aside. Do the same for the rest of the chicken pieces, adding more butter and olive oil if necessary.

If using wine, add and deglaze the pan.  If not, add the stock, 2 tablespoon lemon juice and capers.  Bring to a simmer and scrape the brown bits at the bottom of the pan.  Add back the chicken to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken to platter leaving the liquid in the pan.  Check the sauce for seasoning, adding more lemon by a teaspoon if necessary.  If the sauce is too thin, keep boiling until reduced and thickened.  Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously then add parsley. Turn off heat and pour sauce over chicken, leaving about 2 tablespoon sauce in the pan.

For the pasta, boil a large pot of lightly salted water.  When the water is boiling cook angel hair pasta according to package directions. Drain well and toss in the pan with the remaining piccata sauce.

Serve chicken over the angel hair pasta drizzling some of the sauce over it.

Bon Appétit!


  1. Fe! I love your blog and your stories and reflections. I want to try ALL your recipes, especially the good 'ole Filipino ones. Also, I want crab. Our wb's make it hard to enjoy our comfort foods. The crab with garlic and vinegar...yum! I'm going to try your pinakbet recipe, but I need help with the veggies! I don't know what they're called, so if you took pictures of the veggies, I'd be able to find them at Asia Market. The other recipe you don't have that I know you make is inabrau? I don't know if I spelled it correctly but I want to make that REALLY bad with okra and some saluyut or marungay. yum yum yum

    Keep up the repertoire building and I will work on mine. Love ya!

    1. Hi Gigi! I'm loving your blog too! I am blogging more often lately coz you inspired me. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the ingredients when I made pinakbet. Maybe I will have to make a special post on that. But you can also do a google image search for now to help you identify them at the market.
      LOL, inabraw is easy! Use chicken broth for the liquid, add some patis (or bagoong if you have). Boil, then add the vegies one at a time depending on how long it takes each to cook.


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