25 October 2010

"Chicken" Piccata

Well, I had a really amazing weekend. I went to Prescott on Thursday and stayed til Sunday and had SUCH an awesome time. It was kind of like a mini fall break since U of A doesn't have a scheduled one. Also, going from Tucson to Prescott was like taking a little trip to a whole different world- a world where it's chilly and there are leaves blowing around in the wind and a fire in the fireplace sounds like a grand idea. I LOVED it.

I haven't gotten around to uploading the zillions of pictures I took yet though, so a full post will have to wait 'til tomorrow. For now, how about a nice food post?

Since I decided to navigate this blog away from food a bit but I still take pictures whenever I cook something more complicated than ramen, I now have a TON of different recipe pictures. Ten, to be exact. If I wanted to I could do a food post for the next ten days in a row without having to cook a thing. That's just crazy. How did I build up so many?

Having so many to choose from made it difficult to decide which to post today, but I think I'll go with one of my favorite meals of all time: Chicken Piccata.

Before I went veg, I loved the real deal. The first time I had it was at Labruzza's Italian restaurant on Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, and I still think it's the best. What's not to love? It has so many of my favorite things: lemon, capers, olive oil, butter, pasta, garlic... It's such an amazing combination. When I became a vegetarian, I knew I had to find a way to keep eating the stuff. It turned out to be remarkably simple, especially when using Morningstar Chik Patties. These are only vegetarian (For some reason they decided to include less than 2% of dry nonfat milk and egg whites), but if you wanted to go totally animal free thin slices of tofu or seitan would probably work just as well.

"Chicken Piccata"
Ingredients (For two):
2 Morningstar Farms Chik Patties, or 4 thin slices of tofu/seitan
salt and pepper
6 tbsp butter or Earth Balance
3 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup capers
4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup fresh parsley
3 cups cooked spaghetti

1.  Begin by thawing your chik patties. You don't want to fully heat them, you only want them to be soft enough for you to easily slice them in half. Do this by placing the patties on a microwave safe plate and heating them for 20 second intervals.

2. This is the tricky part. You need to butterfly the chik patties- meaning slice through them almost all the way until you have two halves that open up like butterfly wings. Since the patties are a lot thinner than actual chicken breasts, this part can be difficult. Do the best you can and go slowly. If the halves fall apart a bit as you're cutting, don't worry too much about it. It still tastes the same :)

3. Sprinkle both sides of the sliced chicken patties with salt and pepper. Then dredge both pieces with flour, shaking off excess. Since the patties come breaded already, the breaded side needs less flour. (If using tofu or seitan, do the same)

4. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter in a medium frying pan. When hot, add one of the butterflied chicken patties or 2 slices of tofu/seitan.

5. Cook 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on one side, and then flip. Since they're so thin (and since it's not real chicken), the patties cook very quickly- so keep an eye on them. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

6. When the first patty is golden brown and crisp on both sides, remove from the pan to a serving plate. Then add another 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil to the pan and heat. Add the second patty and repeat the cooking process.
7. Once the second patty has been removed to a serving plate, add the lemon juice, vegetable broth, and capers to the pan. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan for browned butter or patty pieces.

8. Let the sauce cook down for a while, and in the meantime chop the garlic and parsley.

9. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a sauce pan. Add garlic and 1/2 the parsley and cook for 1-2 minutes.

10. Toss the garlic/parsley butter with the cooked and drained pasta. add to the serving plate.
11. Add the 2 remaining tbsp of butter to the lemon caper sauce. Stir until melted and then remove from heat. Drizzle the sauce over both the cooked chicken patties, sprinkle the whole thing with the remaining parsley, and serve.

Mmmm, this is soooo delicious. I cooked this weeks ago and finally typing up the post makes me crave it again! It's a pretty simple and crazy yummy dish, so I definitely recommend you try it ASAP.

Hope your weekend was just as lovely as mine!



  1. I'd probably be able to make this! So I'm gonna try, sans capers because I don't like them. Thanks! :)