I am a food photographer and stylist, recipe developer, and educator, providing professional services for brands and insightful education for hobbyists and aspiring food photographers alike.
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Chicken Piccata is a family favorite. This restaurant-style dish is made with just a few simple ingredients. The trick to restaurant-style cooking is taking simple ingredients and allowing each of them to shine on their own. Mastering restaurant-style dishes happens by balancing flavors and textures, including salt, sugar, fat, and acid, and how each of these elements is presented in a dish. Although I am not a trained chef, I understand the principles behind flavor balance and taste, and my Chicken Piccata hits on all the flavor and texture notes.
One thing that excited my pallet about Chicken Piccata is the wine and lemon flavors that dominate the dish. But to make these flavors shine, you must salt your dish appropriately. If you didn’t know, lemons love salt. Salt enhances the lemon flavor while balancing the tartness. For my Chicken Piccata, I used La Baleine Essentiel Sea Salt. La Baleine Essetiel Sea Salt is a low-sodium salt from the sea: it contains 50% less sodium than regular table salt. This is awesome if you make this dish for someone concerned about their sodium intake, on a special diet, or focusing more on balanced nutrition. Additionally, it’s made from natural crystalized minerals with added magnesium, calcium, and potassium (3 marine minerals essential to our bodies) while keeping 100% of the taste of salt. Your bodies and your lemons will be pleased.
I am excited for you to try this dish! Below I have added my Chicken Piccata tips to help you bring the restaurant experience home.
You may have had Chicken or Fish Piccata in a restaurant, but it may not have been Piccata at all. Many times, restaurants refer to Piccata as the sauce, excluding how the protein is prepared. However, Piccata is more than the yummy sauce it’s known for and actually speaks more to how the meat is prepared. In a traditional Piccata, the protein is dredged in flour before frying and is finished with capers and a lemon butter sauce. Francaise is often sold as Piccata, but the difference is the Francaise preparation dips the protein into flour then egg wash before frying creating more of a battered texture. You may see capers and lemon butter are added to Francaise and sold as Piccata. They are both delicious, but I feel it’s important to note the difference.
Serving restaurant-style dishes is fun! However, to make the cooking experience more enjoyable, it is essential to incorporate techniques that restaurants use to support this style’s speed and efficiency. You may not have tons of orders flying in, but Chicken Piccata is best served hot, and timing is everything in this dish. Pounding your chicken is the best way to get all the pieces cooked evenly and quickly. Also, pounding your protein helps to tenderize it.
Sauces are a specialty and are the final dish statement. In another life, I would have been a saucier, which is why I am so passionate. You should handle your sauce preparation with care. Once you add pan sauces to your repertoire, you realize, all pan sauces have the same foundations and come together pretty quickly. However, there are few things to note before you begin.
The Piccata sauce is a pretty simple pan sauce that packs a lot of flavors. It’s essential to have everything ready before you start cooking the chicken breasts to execute it well. Once the last piece is removed from the pan, turn off the stove and REMOVE THE PAN FROM THE BURNER. Doing this will allow the pan to cool down slightly before adding your garlic to begin your sauce.
When adding flour, be patient. Let the flour, garlic, and oil work together to create flavor and a bit of color.
Wine will influence your sauce’s flavor. In Chicken Piccata, a fruit-forward white will work against the flavor balance in the piccata sauce aim for a Chardonnay or another dry white. Also, remember to let the wine reduce by half before adding your stock. Reducing the wine burns off the alcohol but leaves the flavor.
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I am a food photographer, educator, and recipe developer, sharing my passion for bringing flavor to life through stunning visuals.
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