Chicken Piccata Perfection: Bringing Italian Flair to Your Dinner Table

Chicken piccata, with its tender chicken, tangy lemon sauce, and briny capers, is a beloved classic in Italian cuisine. In this recipe from Epicurious, we’ll walk you through how to create the perfect chicken piccata, complete with a flavorful sauce that’s ideal for drizzling over your favorite starches. Whether you’re cooking for a busy weeknight or hosting a special dinner, this dish is sure to impress with its simplicity and deliciousness.

Chicken piccata is a dish that perfectly balances savory, tangy, and briny flavors, making it a favorite among Italian food enthusiasts. This recipe stays true to tradition while adding a generous amount of sauce, perfect for spooning over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta. Let’s dive into the details of crafting this delightful dish.

Ingredients:

  • 4 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 6-oz. each)
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. coarsely chopped drained capers
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or 1 cup water mixed with 1 tsp. chicken bouillon paste
  • 1 medium lemon
  • ¾ cup (94 g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 5 Tbsp. (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped parsley (for serving)

Directions:

  1. Begin by halving 1 medium lemon crosswise. Juice one half to obtain about 2 tablespoons of juice. Thinly slice the remaining half, removing any seeds, and set aside the slices separately.
  2. Place ¾ cup of all-purpose flour in a shallow bowl. Take each of the 4 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each, and place them between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, pound the chicken breasts until they are approximately ¼ inch thick. Season the chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, then dredge them in the flour, shaking off any excess. Place the coated chicken breasts on a plate.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, cook the chicken breasts until they are golden underneath, approximately 4 minutes. Flip them over and cook on the other side until nearly cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to the same skillet. Add the thinly sliced garlic cloves and coarsely chopped drained capers, cooking and stirring often until slightly softened, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Pour in 1 cup of dry white wine and simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine is almost completely reduced, approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Increase the heat to medium-high and add 1 cup of low-sodium chicken broth (or the water mixed with chicken bouillon paste), 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter (cut into small pieces), 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and more pepper to taste. Cook and stir often until the butter is melted and the sauce is well combined, about 3 minutes. Stir in the reserved lemon juice.
  7. Return the cooked chicken to the pan, spooning the sauce over the chicken, and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Add the lemon slices to the pan and then remove it from the heat. Just before serving, top the dish with chopped parsley for a burst of freshness.

Side Dish Suggestions:

Creamy mashed potatoes: The velvety texture of mashed potatoes pairs perfectly with the tangy sauce of chicken piccata.

Lemon herb rice: Cook fluffy white rice with a hint of lemon zest and fresh herbs like parsley or thyme for a fragrant side dish.

Buttered linguine: Toss al dente linguine with melted butter and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for a simple yet delicious accompaniment to your chicken piccata.

Chicken piccata is a delightful dish that brings together the vibrant flavors of lemon, capers, and tender chicken breasts. With its quick cook time and simple preparation, it’s a perfect option for both busy weeknights and special occasions.

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From Pantry to Plate: Canned Tomatoes Unveiled

Canned tomatoes – a humble pantry staple that often goes unnoticed, yet its potential in the kitchen is boundless. These preserved, ruby-red gems may not have the allure of plump, sun-kissed fresh tomatoes, but they hold a unique place in the culinary world. They are the unsung heroes of countless recipes, from hearty pasta sauces to soul-soothing soups and savory stews. In this recipe blog post from Martha Stewart’s recipe blog, the author unveils 14 mouthwatering dishes that prove canned tomatoes are a kitchen essential, elevating your meals to new heights of flavor and convenience.

  1. Lucinda’s Minestrone: This list kicks off with a hearty and flavor-packed Lucinda’s Minestrone, brimming with vegetables, chickpeas, zucchini, and a secret ingredient – the parmesan cheese rind, which infuses the broth with unparalleled richness.
  2. Creamy Tomato Sauce: Step away from traditional marinara and try our Creamy Tomato Sauce. Cream imparts a luxurious touch to the tomato base, making it a delightful companion for various pastas or homemade potato gnocchi.
  3. Simple Pizza Margherita: Classic never goes out of style with Simple Pizza Margherita. A simple tomato sauce, mozzarella, and your choice of toppings create a timeless crowd-pleaser.
  4. Chicken Bolognese With Tagliatelle: Lighten up Ragu Bolognese with ground chicken and save time without compromising flavor. This pasta dinner is a win-win, showcasing the magic of canned tomatoes.
  5. Sausage and Meat Sauce: Elevate your pasta night with the robust flavors of Sausage and Meat Sauce. Infused with the essence of sausage and rosemary, it’s a crowd-pleaser for any gathering.
  6. All-Purpose Tomato Sauce: Simplicity meets richness in our All-Purpose Tomato Sauce. Canned tomatoes play the leading role, with a final flourish of butter adding a delightful depth of flavor to this versatile sauce.
  7. Quick Cioppino: Seafood lovers, rejoice! Quick Cioppino is a seafood bowl featuring a vibrant tomato broth and a medley of mussels, clams, and white fish.
  8. Sam’s Vegetarian Bean Chili: Crafted from pantry staples like canned tomatoes, beans, and green chiles, Sam’s Vegetarian Bean Chili comes together in just 45 minutes, tasting like it simmered all day.
  9. Vegetable-Bean Soup: Starting off our list is a wholesome Vegetable-Bean Soup that owes its heartiness to canned tomatoes. This versatile recipe can easily adapt to your vegetable preferences, making it the perfect canvas for creativity in the kitchen.
  10. Minestrone With Collard Greens and White Beans: Any day is perfect for a pot of Minestrone. This rendition boasts fiber-rich white beans and iron-packed collard greens for a nourishing, hearty meal.
  11. Three-Ingredient Marinara: Simplicity reigns supreme with Three-Ingredient Marinara. A can of tomatoes blitzed in a food processor and a 15-minute simmer results in a delectable marinara sauce.
  12. Cheesy Butter-Bean Shakshuka: For brunch or a cozy supper, indulge in Cheesy Butter-Bean Shakshuka. Whether you opt for canned plum or cherry tomatoes, this dish is a savory delight that’s sure to please.
  13. Fish Stew With Herbed Toasts: Craving something quick and seafood-inspired? Look no further than our Fish Stew with Herbed Toasts. In just 30 minutes, you’ll have a delightful cod and tomato-based dish ready to impress.
  14. Butterfield Stageline Chili: For a chili with depth, savor the flavors of Butterfield Stageline Chili. With chiles, pork, brisket, and plenty of canned tomatoes, this dish slow-cooks to perfection.

Canned tomatoes are the unsung heroes of the kitchen, providing us with convenience without sacrificing flavor. These 14 recipes have demonstrated the remarkable versatility of canned tomatoes, from savory soups to mouthwatering pasta sauces and comforting stews. So, the next time you reach for that unassuming can, remember that it holds the potential to transform your meal into a culinary masterpiece.

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A Recipe for Mushroom Ragù Sure to Please Anyone

Are you tired of the same old pasta dishes? Want to impress your dinner guests with a restaurant-worthy meal? Look no further than this delicious mushroom ragù recipe from 101 Cookbooks. This savory and hearty sauce is perfect for elevating any dish, from simple spaghetti to gourmet gnocchi. But how do you make it like a pro? In this blog post, we’ll share our top tips and tricks for mastering the art of making mushroom ragù. Whether you’re an experienced cook or just starting out, these notes will help take your culinary skills to the next level. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking.

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ -2 pounds of mixed mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 5 dried red chiles (chile de árbol), stemmed and torn into small pieces
  • 1 cup of heavy cream or cashew cream, room temperature
  • 3 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 3 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, finely diced
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • ¼ cup of porcini powder
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes or 2 tablespoons of homemade bouillon powder
  • 7 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of fine-grain sea salt
  • Zest of one lemon

 

Directions

  1. Begin this delicious mushroom ragù recipe by preheating your oven to 250° F. Then you’ll want to prepare your mushrooms by chopping them very finely. If you’re finding that it’s taking too long to chop it by hand, you can use a food processor while working in batches. Just ensure that you don’t overuse the food processor or else you’ll make a mushroom paste.
  2. Next, take a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven and heat your olive oil over medium heat. Once it’s hot enough, stir in your onion, celery, carrots, garlic, red chile, and salt. Cook these ingredients down while stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes or so. Cook until the vegetables have softened a bit and the onions are translucent.
  3. At this point, stir in your chopped mushrooms as well as the porcini powder and allow them time to cook so that the mushrooms can release their moisture. This should take about 5 minutes or so. After 5 minutes, add in your wine, water, and bouillon. If you need to, break up the bouillon and cook the ingredients for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes next and bring everything to a simmer. Crush the oregano between your two palms and add the pieces in the pot. Depending on whether or not you’d like your ragù to be creamy or not, you’ll sit in the optional creme.
  5. Taste the ragù and adjust the seasoning with more salt if needed and stir in the lemon zest. Cover the pot and transfer it into the oven, allowing the pot to cook for 1-3 hours. Ideally, you’d like the ragù to have thickened and concentrated before removing it from the oven. You can then either eat the ragù immediately, allow it to cool completely before refrigerating it for up to a few days, or freeze it for a couple of months. Enjoy!

In addition to being delicious on its own, mushroom ragù is also a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of different side dishes. Polenta: This traditional Italian dish is the perfect accompaniment for a hearty ragù. Serve your mushroom ragù over a bed of creamy polenta for a truly satisfying meal. Roasted vegetables: For a light and healthy side dish, roast up some seasonal vegetables to serve alongside your mushroom ragù. Try pairing it with roasted Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, or carrots for a nourishing and flavorful meal.

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Deliciously Cheesy Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Sometimes you want to go all-out for dinner and prepare a restaurant-grade meal. Thankfully, this excellent recipe for a cheesy, crispy, and flavorful “Best Chicken Parmesan” from Bon Appétit will set you up for a successful, four-star dish that’s sure to please.

Ingredients for Chicken Parmesan:

Directions for Chicken Parmesan:

  1. You’ll begin this recipe by starting with preparing the tomato sauce. You’ll do this by heating your extra-virgin olive oil in a large Dutch oven, or alternatively, you can use another heavy pot over medium heat. After the oil is heated, you’ll add your onion and 8 cloves of garlic and begin to cook them while stirring often. Continue this just until the onions and garlic are softened but not browned (about 5 minutes), at which point you’ll add in your tomato paste and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook and stir until the paste is slightly darkened in color. In fact, the paste should begin to fry in olive oil.
  2. Add in your tomato purée, salt, and sugar, and bring it all to a simmer. Then, partially cover the pot with a lid in order to avoid splattering, reduce your heat so that the sauce is kept at a very bare simmer, and cook it while still stirring occasionally until it’s slightly thickened. This should take approximately 40-50 minutes.
  3. Next, you’ll begin the chicken assembly by placing 1 chicken breast at a time onto a cutting board so that a short side of the chicken is facing towards you. Then, as you hold a chef’s knife parallel to the breast, slice along the middle of a long side of the chicken in order to make a slit. Continue to slice until you are about ½” away from the other side. Then, open up the chicken breast like a book and place it between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap. You’ll then pound the breast with a meat mallet or rolling pin until the chicken is about ⅓” thick. Ensure that the chicken is super thin so that it will keep from overheating. Repeat this step for the remaining chicken breasts.
  4. Combine your five garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil in a large baking dish. Then, season your chicken cutlets all over with salt; you can use about ¾ teaspoons of Diamond Crystal or a ½ teaspoon of Morton koshersalt per cutlet. Afterward, add the cutlets to your marinade while turning the chicken over to fully coat. Then, let them sit for at least 20 minutes but not longer than 1 hour.
  5. At this point, you’ll make a dredging station, for which you’ll whisk your eggs, garlic powder, salt, and about 2 tablespoons of water in a large shallow bowl such as a cake pan or pie plate. Then in another large shallow bowl, place your panko breadcrumbs, and place your flour into a third. Whisk the remaining salt into the flout, mixing it together.
  6. As you work with one chicken cutlet at a time, take a cutlet out of the marinade and let any excess drip off. Then, dip the cutlet into the egg wash, dredge it in panko (pressing firmly to adhere), gently shake off the excess, and place the cutlet onto a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat this process for the other cutlets, and chill for at least 20 minutes but not longer than 8 hours.
  7. Then, set a wire rack inside a second large rimmed baking sheet, and grate your mozzarella on the large hotels of a box cheese grater into a medium bowl. Add some Parmesan cheese, and toss to combine. Next, you’ll pour your vegetable oil into a large high-sided heave skillet so that the oil comes up 1” on all sides. Heat the oil over medium until an instant-read thermometer registers at 400°F.
  8. Working in batches to avoid over-crowding the pan and returning the oil to 400°F after each batch, you’ll very carefully lower the cutlets into the skillet with tongs and cook them until they’re each golden brown. This should take approximately 2 minutes per side. Afterward, transfer the cutlets to the prepared rack and season each with salt.
  9. Now you’ll heat your boiler and arrange the cutlets so that they are sitting side by side in 2 large baking dishes.Generously spoon some sauce over each cutlet and put the remaining sauce into baking dishes around the cutlets. Cover them with your cheese mixture and broil just until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and browned in spots. This should only take about 4 minutes- at which point you’ll remove this chicken from the broiler, let them cool slightly, and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Notes for Chicken Parmesan:

  • You can make the tomato sauce up to two days ahead of time. Follow steps 1-2 above, let it cool, transfer the sauce to an airtight container, cover, and chill until you need it for the chicken.
  • When your chicken cutlets are marinating, the lemon juice will turn the chicken flesh opaque, but that’s to be expected.

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Pasta Con Asparagi Recipe

When a new season is upon us, those aligned in the Italian tradition of cooking tend to whip up a plate of pasta con asparagi, a traditional dish that is made all the more impressive by its simplicity in preparation, flavor, and intoxication of both flavor and aroma, and thanks to this delicious recipe from the Food 52 recipe blog, you can enjoy a bowl yourself.

Ingredients for Pasta Con Asparagi:

  • 1 ½ pound of fresh asparagus
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of canned Italian plum tomatoes (grated coarsely or put through a sieve)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh basil (finely chopped)
  • ¾ pounds of penne, rigatoni, or other “tubular” pasta
  • 2 eggs plus one additional yolk, (beaten)
  • ½ cup of parmesan (freshly grated)

Directions for Pasta Con Asparagi

  1. In order to properly start this recipe, you should prepare all ingredients ahead of time and have them laid out, ready to cook, as this recipe requires somewhat meticulous timing. Have your herbs finely chopped, cheese grated, and eggs beaten with a fork; that way you’re setting yourself up for success. Once this is done, bring approximately 3 quarts of water to a hardy boil for the pasta.
  2. Next, put your asparagus into lengthy strips of about 2 inches long. If your stalks are particularly thick, you can cut them in half or quarters, though you should keep the tips intact.
  3. Heat your butter in a large, deep skillet that’s been placed on medium heat, and then add in your asparagus pieces. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper, and cook them for 4-5 minutes or until they are crisp-tender and lightly browned. Once cooked, transfer them to a plate, and reserve them for later. Consider placing a container top over the plate to trap some heat with the vegetables.
  4. In the same pan, add your olive oil and garlic cloves. Cook until the full cloves are lightly-browned and then remove and discard the garlic.
  5. Next, add the tomatoes, parsley, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and then cook the tomatoes and herbs for about 10 minutes while stirring throughout.
  6. Add your pasta and a pinch of salt to the boiling pot of water and cook for about 7 minutes when it returns to a boil after adding the pasta. Keep a watchful eye on the pasta and remove the pot from the burner once the pasta is tender, so as to not overcook this staple of the meal.
  7. Just before your pasta is done cooking, turn off the heat under the skillet with the tomatoes, and add your beaten eggs. Stir them vigorously to blend them while keeping them from curdling. Continue to keep a watchful eye, and do your best to not boil the sauce after the eggs are added. If you’re nervous about curdling the eggs at this stage, you can instead temper them by stirring a ladle of the hot tomato sauce into the eggs and then whisking the mixture back into the pan.
  8. At this point you can add your asparagus to the tomato sauce, stirring the pieces in the sauce to blend them together.
  9. Once cooked, drain the pasta immediately, add the tomato sauce and asparagus, and toss it all with half of your cheese. Serve a helping on a plate while it’s hot and with the remaining cheese on the side. Enjoy!

This Food 52 recipe is a slight adaptation from the acclaimed restaurant critic and food journalist Craig Claiborne. Originally appearing in his The New New York Times Cookbook (1979), this harmonious recipe combines the best elements of the more celebrated pasta sauces, most notably asparagus, carbonara, and tomato.

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Lasagna Bolognese Recipe

One of the best Italian dishes to perfect and keep in your back pocket is a hearty bolognese sauce, and if you’re even in need of a more-filling dish that incorporates that Italian classic, then look no further than Food52’s delicious recipefor an expertly-crafted lasagna bolognese dish.

Ingredients for the lasagna bolognese sauce

5 fresh basil leaves

⅔ cup of extra virgin Italian olive oil

3 cloves of garlic (2 peeled and smashed; 1 finely-chopped)

2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper (optional)

8 cups of crushed tomatoes

2 cups of water

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped basil

1 small onion (finely-chopped)

¼ pound of pancetta (finely-chopped)

1 pound organic ground beef (93% lean)

½ cup of nice red wine

1 bay leaf

½ cup of mascarpone cheese

Ingredients for lasagna bolognese

4 cups of bolognese sauce

¼ cup of butter

¼ cup of all-purpose flour

3 cups organic dairy milk (warmed)

9 sheets of lasagna (typically one package)

2 cups grated Parmigiano cheese (half grated)

Fresh mozzarella (sliced)

Directions:

  1. When beginning the bolognese (red) sauce, combine your olive oil, basil leaves, and garlic in a small saucepan. If you prefer a spicy sauce, this is when you can add the crushed red pepper flakes. Let the saucepan simmer on very low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. This process is known as steeping, and it allows the olive oil to become quite fragrant. Be careful that the garlic inside the pot is toasted brown and not black; once it is, remove it from the heat and strain the aromatics, saving your olive oil, setting it aside.
  2. Either in a Dutch Oven or large pot, pour in your tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Afterward, pour in your remaining olive oil into the sauce and mix it together to combine. Bring it to a boil and immediately reduce it to a simmer. Partially cover the pot, allowing the sauce to simmer for at least 45 minutes and at maximum 2 hours. As accomplished chefs can attest, the longer it cooks, the better the final product tastes.
  3. Though this recipe yields approximately 8 cups, you’ll only need 4 to make the actual bolognese. To make it, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and brown your pancetta until it’s crisp. Add in your onion and garlic, maintain a low heat, and cook until the onions and garlic are translucent. During this step, keep a watchful eye and be sure not to brown them.
  4. Now, increase your heat to medium-high and add the ground beef. Break the pieces apart with the sides of awooden cooking spoon, incorporating the onions and garlic as you do so. Allow the meat to brown until it’s almost cooked through and all the excess liquid has evaporated.
  5. Using your small amount of red wine, deglaze the pan and let the pan cook until the mhttps://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-a-bay-leaf-995576eat is aromatic and the wine is reduced by half. Afterward, add 4 cups of red sauce and your bay leaf to the pan, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover it. Simmer this for 1 ½ hours until the sauce has become very thick. After 90 minutes, remove the sauce from the heat, add mascarpone cheese, and mix it all together to melt it completely and create a slightly pink hue.
  6. When making your lasagna, preheat the oven to 350°F as you make your “besciamella sauce.” In a large pot, melt your butter and then add flour, whisking until a light brown roux forms. Slowly add your warmed milk afterward and whisk the mixture constantly until you create a thick sauce that is able to coat the back of a spoon. Add 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to the sauce, and then gently combine it with the bolognese sauce.
  7. In a large lasagna pan (suggested size is 9 x 13-inch), add a single layer of your sauce, followed by 3 lasagna sheets. Cover the layers with more meat sauce, and continue this process until all sheets are used. The top layer should be a very thick layer of sauce. Grate additional Parmigiano on top, cover with foil, and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  8. Afterward, you have the option to add some fresh mozzarella and place it under the broiler for an additional five minutes or simply sprinkle some more Parmigiano on top before serving.

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