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picatta, piccata lets call the whole thing off

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Hey kidz~

I tried the TVFN recipe, only one they had for me. It tasted ok, but it was like an oil slick. Never having had the stuff in a restaurant, I have nothing to compare against for good or bad.

So give give please....I want GOOD chicken picatta/piccata..ohh THAT stuff!

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Cooks Illustrated did a piece on the perfect picatta. What I recall is that they said not to skimp on the lemon and capers.

I've found that keeping a jar of capers in the fridge is very handy. When I get bored making the same oil & garlic based sauces, I toss in a teaspoon of capers. It's a great change.

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not only is standard equipment in my fridge capers...but pitted calamatas and preserved lemons :).

Ill see if Cooks has a search feature on their site....I DO like that magazine....scientific as it is.


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Okay, babe, the basics:

1. Pound the hell out of the (veal, chicken cutlet, etc) so that it is FLAT and even.

2. Heat a little oil in a sauté pan. JUST A LITTLE OIL!!!!!!! enough to film the pan.

3. As the oil is heating, dip many pieces of meat as will fit without touching each other in seasoned flour; pat off the excess.

4. Slide the meat into the pan. Shake the pan so they don't stick, but then let them be.

5. When they're golden on one side, pick up with fingers or tongs and flip over. Cook until golden on the other side. All this cooking should only take a few minutes.

6. Remove the meat from the pan and keep warm. Repeat until all meat is cooked. Add extra oil (and let it heat first) as necessary.

7. When all meat has been cooked, if desired add some minced shallots and/garlic and/or onions. Sauté them to golden.

8. Pour in some wine and/or stock and/or veg juice. Let it come to a boil. Add other stuff like capers, chopped roasted peppers, chopped olives, etc etc. Let it all reduce to the point you want, which shoud be "au sec" -- almost dry.

9. Squirt in a lot of fresh lemon juice. Remove from heat. Pour over meat.

10. Serve and accept the ooohs and ahhs for such a simple but tasty dish.


The main point is, you DON'T need a lot of oil. Just enough so that the meat doesn't stick. And you need high, but not super-high heat; too high and the flour burns; not high enough and the meat takes too long to cook and gives up too much liquid.


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I find this to be a great basic technique to experiment with different tastes and ingredients. Try deglazing with different wines -- marsala, madiera, port. Toss in different veggies -- zucchini is one of my favorites; or just sweat some spinach in it at the end. Try a pat or two of butter.

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(babe? oooooo!! hee)

Now that sounds like it wont leave me with an oil slick at the end. Mine was tasty but oily as hell.


Actually I did serve it with spinach. Seasoned with salt, garlic, and nutmeg and a bit of soy margarine.

Thanks guys!

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