Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chicken Piccata; Creamed Broccoli with Parmesan

Tonight marks my first recipe for a recent online find that I'm excited about- an Ina Garten recipe group! Since my goals for this blog are to push myself with new techniques and new recipes, I joined the Barefoot Bloggers- a collection of food bloggers who try out Barefoot Contessa recipes twice a month. I'm hoping that participating in this group will get me baking more often and trying preparations that normally wouldn't be my first choice (hello, fish!).

(I'll try to make you proud, Ina)

Ironically, the first recipe that came up since I joined is one that I've already made- Ina's Chicken Piccata. Although it's not brand-new to me, it's a great method for chicken piccata... and I can never resist a chance to make a lemon-butter sauce!

(Photo courtesy of

With the chicken piccata, I decided to make a recipe I'd flagged in this month's Gourmet: creamed broccoli with Parmesan. I adore creamed spinach but have never had creamed broccoli! It's a simple recipe and creates a very elegant and flavorful side dish. My only change would be to decrease the amount of cream- the recipe calls for 1 cup, but I found that this made it very watery and had to drain a lot off. The next time I make this (which will probably be very soon!), I'll just use 1/2 cup.

(Photo courtesy of Gourmet
Magazine and


1 bunch broccoli (1 1/4 pounds)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Peel broccoli stems, then coarsely chop stems and florets. Cook broccoli in boiling salted water (1 1/2 teaspoons salt for 4 quarts water) until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop cooking.

Simmer cream, garlic, nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium saucepan, uncovered, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 5 minutes.

Add broccoli and simmer, mashing with a potato masher, until coarsely mashed and heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan and lemon juice.

(So, it may look a bit like baby food,but it is DELICIOUS baby food!)

Onto the piccata! I remember from my previous try at this recipe that it is VERY lemony, something that usually works quite well for my tastes but could be too much for others. A quick browse through the recipe reviews online showed that this was a common impression (and it turns out, the amounts of lemon juice and wine are unchanged from the book version of the recipe, which serves 4 instead of 2), so I figured that the preparation wouldn't suffer if I decreased the amount of lemon juice.


2 split (1 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 extra-large egg (*NOTE: Ina loves her extra-large eggs, but they are impossible to find- for me, at least. Since this is only for one egg, it will be fine if you use a large egg and add a smidge more water to the egg/water mixture.)
1/2 tablespoon water
3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
Good olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon), lemon halves reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine
Sliced lemon, for serving
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound out to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the egg and 1/2 tablespoon of water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread crumb mixtures.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan and allow them to bake for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and then add the lemon juice, wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes.

Off the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves and serve 1 chicken breast on each plate. Spoon on the sauce and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.


  1. I have had your roasted broccoli the last three nights in a row (along with some roasted grape tomatoes), so I am definitely going to try your creamed broccoli!

  2. Welcome to the group! I can't wait to try that creamed broccoli... maybe with evaporated milk instead of heavy cream? Looks fantastic!

    ~Delta Whiskey (Cat)

  3. Your chicken looks more pounded (thinner) than mine. Glad to have you in the group.

  4. Holy cow, creamed broccoli?! I've never heard of such a thing! I'm going to make it ASAP.

    Your chicken also looks delicious. I'm glad you got the chance to make a meal your family already loves! Welcome to the group!

  5. Yes, my sauce turned out to be VERY lemony!
    That broccoli recipe sounds delish.