Lolita has to admit to recent failures in the kitchen. A tough turkey breast; a failed carbonara (including a re-cook!); and although I can’t remember the specifics, I recall 3 temper tantrums in the kitchen since I last blogged, which means I screwed the pooch on something else, too. So tonight I decided to go super basic, and I whipped together this here chicken piccata, comingled with buttered pasta tubes and crisp-headed, silken bodied roasted asparagus spears. Quick, heartwarming, and delicious. Looks like maybe Lolita’s got her mojo back.
Chicken Piccata, Simple Pasta, and EVOO Roasted Asparagus
3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 stick butter, divided
4 tbs flour
1/2 package pasta (these are super-long tubes of macaroni)
2 tbs salted capers, rinsed
1/4 cup white wine
parmigiano reggiano cheese
1 lb fresh asparagus stalks
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup minced scallions
sea salt, cracked black pepper
I spent 49¢ more per pound at Whole Foods to get “chicken cutlets”, when I should have just purchased the breasts themselves – considering how poorly butterflied these babies were. No matter, I carved them into 4 roughly equal tenderloins…
… then pounded them all flat, in a cross-hatch pattern, with my sharpening steel. I have a wooden mallet, but I always reach for my steel for some reason. And it always tenderizes the hell out of my meat.
... then lay them gently in the pan, making sure not to crowd them together.
After about 5 minutes, or until there is a nice tan sear, I flip ’em, cook ’em for another 5 minutes, then move them to a plate tented with foil to keep warm. Time to make the pan sauce.
When the sauce has reduced, I swirl in a few tablespoons of butter before returning the chicken to the pan. I let this simmer, flipping the chicken from time to time to coat with the sauce, for a couple minutes.
My asparagus spears have crispy little roasted heads and silky tender meaty stalks. The chicken falls to pieces at the suggestion of my fork’s edge; its white juiciness is enrobed with satin lemon sauce, and offset by the salty buds of caper berries. And served with some noodles tossed in butter, grated parmigiano reggiano, and chopped scallions for sopping. After chucking several bad meals down the garbage chute, it was nice to whip this sweet supper together without even having to think about it, and in less than 30 minutes. Lolita’s coming back… stay tuned!