Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chicken Piccata Salad

While I was trying to get dinner on the table tonight the kids were both being a bit needy. Thankfully they have almost returned to my normal sweet babies after being away and off their routines. But needy at dinner cooking time is nothing out of the ordinary. So I was getting flustered & slightly annoyed because I had to keep stopping and then the recipe was bugging me because I kept loosing my place and I was thinking “WHY am I cooking this, why am I bothering?”

So I stopped what I was doing and appeased my two sweeties and then started to think about why I do this every night. I am a stay at home mom and I always thought that meant that I should have a good dinner on the table. We always ate dinner as a family when I was young and I think its important. I also like to feed my husband a nice meal at the end of his long work day. Then I started thinking about my kids. I cant say that I don’t serve store bought chicken fingers, turkey meatballs and other child friendly things from the freezer a few times a week. But on a night like tonight when I was just rushing to get it done, and then Jackson loved the dinner I made, and asked for more, that is really why I am continuing to do this. If I didn’t introduce him to new flavors and new foods, he would be stuck in the kid food rut and I want better for him then that. I hope that Mia Grace is the same way. She started eating puffs on Monday all by her self and judging from her pure joy from just puffs I think she will be another adventurous eater. I don’t want to look down the road and complain about my picky eaters when I had the power to make sure they tried lots of new things but I was too busy to make it for them.

Ok its Rachael Ray time. I used to be obsessed with her and watched her show everyday at 6pm….before I had kids that is. But I really never made any of her dishes. I have a few of her cookbooks too and I was never overly impressed with anything she cooked. I am not sure why, because she does cook things that always look great on Tv but when I make them its just kind of eh-
But I picked up her magazine because I had never bought it before so I thought I would check it out. I bookmarked 3 recipes and stayed tuned for the RR verdicts!!! Hint—I might subscribe (or just read them online)

Chicken Piccata Salad
Borrowed from Rachael Ray Everyday magazine

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
1/2 pound green beans, halved crosswise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped capers
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Grated peel and juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper
1 large egg **doubled**
1/4 cup flour **doubled**
Two 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, lightly pounded ** I used 4 thin sliced breasts totaling a pound**
1/4 cup chicken broth

· In a large saucepan, add the potatoes and enough salted water to cover by 1 inch.

· Bring to a boil and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes.
· Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander.
· Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
· Drain in the colander with the potatoes; let cool slightly.
· In a large bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon capers, 3 tablespoons parsley, the lemon peel and half of the lemon juice.
· Add the potatoes and beans and toss; season with salt and pepper.
· In a shallow bowl, beat the egg. In another shallow bowl, season the flour with salt and pepper.
· In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.
· Coat the chicken breasts with the seasoned flour, then dip in the egg, allowing any excess to drip off, and coat with the flour again, shaking off the excess.
· Add to the skillet and cook, turning once, until golden, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into strips.
· Add the chicken broth to the skillet; cook over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits.
· Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon capers, 1 tablespoon parsley and lemon juice.
· Top the salad with the chicken and drizzle with the pan sauce.

HOLY COW! I know, I know you get sick of hearing me say you have to make this but I swear you will email me to thank me for introducing this dish into your life. It was so good. Doug told me three times how much he liked it and Jackson asked for more….Toddlers don’t eat anything let alone ask for seconds. It was really fresh and flavorful and it was a really great all in one type meal/salad. I would make the veggie again as a side for something else too. I did Double the chicken because I didn’t feel like 2 breasts would be enough for us. I have hungry boys in my house. I also did use the capers even though I thought I didn’t like them. If you don’t usually like them or are scared just smush them up and chop them really, really small and they blend but add a touch of different flavor. The one thing I found annoying was when you see the amount of ingredients in the list but then you don’t add it all at once. I find it confusing and annoying to have to keep looking back to see how much I was supposed to use. But it isn’t the piccata salad’s fault just my own pet peeve.

This dish would be great for a brunch because it is best at room temperature and it looks kind of fancy and you could stretch lots of cheaper ingredients. The recipe was in the magazine for recipes $10 and under and I think for the money this is a keeper. I will be making this one again soon

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