Lemon Flavored Chicken Cutlets with Orzo and Spinach
Reprinted with permission. From Ciao Italia Family Classics by Mary Ann Esposito. Published by St. Martin's Press. Copyright © 2011
- Servings: 4.
From Ciao Italia Family Classics, by Mary Ann Esposito who writes:
"An Italian American concoction to be sure, chicken piccata is a zesty tasting lemon flavored dish that is often made with scalloppine (veal cutlet) instead of chicken. Piccata means tasty or spicy. Serve it with orzo and spinach for an all in one-main dish."
- 1 1/2 cups orzo (tiny soup pasta)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well squeezed
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1 pound chicken cutlets
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons capers in salt, well rinsed and minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 large lemons)
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- Bring 4 cups of boiling water to a boil; add 1 teaspoon of salt and the orzo and cook until the orzo is no longer hard but cooked through, about 12 minutes. Drain the orzo into a medium size bowl and stir in 1/4 cup of the olive oil and 1/4 cup of the lemon juice. Stir in the spinach and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
- Pound the cutlets between two sheets of wax paper with the flat side of a meat pounder until they are about 1/8th inch thick; take care not to tear the meat while pounding.
- Combine the flour, salt and pepper together on a dish and coat each cutlet in the flour mixture. Set aside on a plate in a single layer.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a large non-stick pan and brown the cutlets on each side; add more oil to the pan if it seems dry. Transfer the cutlets to a dish as they brown.
- Add the butter to the pan and stir in the onions and cook them about 3 minutes. Stir in the capers and cook 1 minute. Stir in the wine, raise the heat to high and cook 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and zest and cook over medium heat just until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Return the cutlets to the pan and heat just until hot.
- Make a bed of the orzo mixture on a serving platter. Place the cutlets over the orzo and pour the sauce over the top. Sprinkle on the parsley and remaining cheese and serve.
Variation: You can substitute orzo with rice. This dish is also delicious with broccoli rabe instead of spinach.