In college, one of my dearest friends and I would often meander over to The Cheesecake Factory to grab some food, sip on a few cocktails, and catch up. We would always sit at the bar for our meal because let’s face it, no matter what time of day, the average wait for The Cheesecake Factory can be ridiculous! Why are they always so PACKED?!
But I digress…..
Despite their billion page menu, PB (as she will now be known) and I would always split an order of their Chicken Piccata. It was always tasty, a TON of food (even for two to share), and was well priced. Hey, we were college students on a budget after all :)
After college when I finally got into my own kitchen, I began making my own version of Chicken Piccata. I love the light, lemony sauce with capers and how it pairs so well with the tender chicken. As an added bonus, you can get away with eating a huge plate of it without feeling too weighed down. Now that’s a Nguyen-Win Situation!
Quick, simple—and delicious.
And yes, PB. A very large plate of this Piccata will be waiting for you with an extra large Gimlet next time you come into town :)
Note: Up for seafood instead? Switch up the chicken for some scallops or a lovely white fish. Follow the same method and it will be just as delish!
Chicken Piccata with Angel Hair Pasta
1/3 Pound Angel Hair Pasta
1 Boneless Chicken Breast
½ Cup All Purpose Flour, plus ½ Tablespoon
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest, freshly grated
6-7 Lemon Slices, very thinly sliced
1 Lemon, juiced
1 Tablespoon Capers, drained
½ Cup Roma Tomatoes, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, finely diced
¼ Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
1 ½ Cups Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, chiffonade
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
Place ½ cup of flour in a shallow dish. Using a sharp knife, slice chicken breast in half. Place a piece of wax paper on top of each piece of chicken and pound with a kitchen mallet until it is about ½ inch thin. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Take the chicken and roll it into the flour, using your fingers to assist in adhering it to the meat. Carefully shake off excess flour. Repeat with second piece of chicken.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Slide chicken into the skillet and sauté on each side until it becomes golden brown—about 3-4 minutes each side. Once chicken is done, transfer to a clean plate and tent with a sheet of aluminum foil.
Begin boiling the pasta.
Using the same skillet, add remaining olive oil and sauté garlic until it becomes aromatic but not browned. Add chili flakes, capers, lemon juice, lemon slices, zest, and chicken broth. Use a wooden spoon to scrape off the tasty brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Raise the temperature to medium high heat and allow the liquid to reduce by almost half. While the liquid is reducing, use a fork to mash together remaining 1 tablespoon of flour and butter in a small bowl. Whisk it into the reducing liquid and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes. Be sure to whisk out any lumps of flour. Check for seasonings and adjust with salt/pepper accordingly. Remove from heat.
Drain the cooked pasta, reserving a few tablespoons of the starch water. Toss the pasta in the lemon caper sauce, tomatoes, and basil–reserving a few spoonfuls of sauce. Add in a few spoonfuls of pasta water if you want a “looser” pasta consistency (optional). Check for seasonings and adjust with salt/pepper accordingly. Plate pasta and top each with a piece of chicken. Spoon extra lemon caper sauce over the chicken and pasta. Serve immediately.