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Chicken scaloppine with lemon, capers, and tomatoes

January 9, 2008

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Serves 4

Sweet Basil owner Dave Becker serves his garlicky chicken piccata, sautéed chicken breasts pounded thin, with a lemon and garlic sauce.

4skinless boneless chicken breast halves
Salt and pepper, to taste
3tablespoons flour
3tablespoons olive oil
3tablespoons unsalted butter
8cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2cup white wine
Juice of 2 lemons
2cups chicken stock
2plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
2tablespoons capers, rinsed
1/4cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Place the chicken breasts, two at a time, between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Use the smooth side of a meat mallet to pound them to about 1/2-inch thickness. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Spread the flour on a plate and dip the chicken into it to coat both sides, shaking off the excess.

2. In a heavy 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter melts, add the chicken to the skillet. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Turn and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a plate. (It is not cooked through at this point.)

3. Add the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the wine and lemon juice. Simmer, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, for a few minutes or until almost all the liquid is gone.

4. Add the stock, tomatoes, and capers to the pan. Turn the heat to high, and bring the liquid to a boil. Simmer steadily for 6 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by about a third.

5. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Return the chicken to the pan and simmer for 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly and the chicken is cooked through. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Sprinkle with parsley. - Adapted from Sweet Basil