Friday, August 24, 2012

Chicken Piccata, Dining In, and The Carolinas!

Dining Area in "No Regrets" Beach House
One week ago this evening we were rolling into Charleston, the last part of our trip to the Carolinas.  What a wonderful week plus a couple of days we had, me with my sister Anne and her family.  It's even more evident now that fond memories are all that are left of a lovely chunk of August 2012.  While the many-hours-long rides in the car to and from Emerald Isle, to Charleston, and back home were admittedly tough on everyone, I can actually say I enjoyed it.  Of course, I wasn't driving.  I got to sit in the back seat and observe like I never can when I'm the driver -- not just the changing landscape passing by, state by state, but also the interaction and conversations between the front seat and the back seat.  I read two books, and started a third.  I learned a lot about real estate -- Anne's an agent with Prudential in Saratoga Springs -- and a little bit about the car business (John works in the auto industry).  I kept up with my friends on facebook, tracked our routes (and alternate routes) on my Windows phone (really cool!),  and listened to some good music.  We had two cars going down, so I spent part of the time in my nephew Will's car (with my sister Anne) and part of the time in Anne's and John's car (again with Anne).  We headed home in one car leaving Charleston after Will was settled (not an easy good-bye).  Anyway...we spent so much time together that I really missed them just days after we got  home!  So today Anne and I met for lunch at the Olde Bryan Inn in Saratoga (very close to my office), and spent a too-short hour catching up after the four whole days since our trip ended!

Food is always a huge part of our trip to Emerald Isle.  This year, we were there for fewer days and ate out one night, so there were fewer home-cooked meals.  The ones we did have were great, though.  Will told me about a recipe he's made at home (my nephews are really good cooks!).  It was for chicken piccata, and he used Giada DiLaurentis's recipe from The Food Network.  He printed it out for me, and I had to improvise a bit because we didn't have everything the recipe called for, but what we did have created a truly delicious meal.  We bought too many packages (!) of thin-sliced chicken cutlets (no need to pound) which were lightly dredged and sauteed in equal parts olive oil and butter.  After they were removed from the pan, white wine (my addition) and lemon juice were added to create a sincerely delicious sauce.  We had left-over shrimp scampi from the night before, which complimented the piccata beautifully.

Giada's Chicken Piccata
(photo from The Food Network)

Here's a link to Giada's recipe, which is absolutely fine so no need to reiterate, and this is how I improvised with the resources on hand:

  • I didn't have straight up AP flour, and didn't want to buy a whole bag since we were there for such a short time,  so instead I used Light Bisquick (purchased for the blueberry pancakes) with the additions of salt and pepper.  (It worked out beautifully.)
  • I dipped the chicken cutlets in a beaten egg/milk mixture before dredging in the Bisquick.
  • After the first few chicken cutlets were cooked, I placed them on a foil-lined cookie sheet that had been given a quick spray of cooking oil, to keep warm at 250-degrees Farenheit until all the cutlets were done.
  • My olive oil/butter got a little too brown after cooking all the cutlets, so I started fresh.  I took about half that liquid, minus the browned bits, and put it in a fresh sautee pan, with a little more olive oil and butter, and then proceeded to add the wine (a few glugs, and not in the original recipe) and lemon juice to the new pan.  
  • I didn't have parsley, and no one cared!  
  • I served capers on the side, since some people are afraid of capers! 
  • All the cutlets were placed on a large serving platter and the sauce was poured over top.  It was very saucy and sooooo delicious!
I can't believe I didn't take a picture, so Giada's will have to do.

If you want a really delicious and somewhat simple chicken dish, and you love lemon anything like I do, try this!


12 comments:

  1. What a perfect trip! You do know that the whole reason I ever started following your blog and then we became friends was because of the family trip you had last year! I love it! I thought of you often while we were in Hilton Head Island a few months ago! There is just truly nothing like family…whether or not its great memories or just so so memories…it's a a family memory! I'm so glad your nephews are great cooks! My youngest son is trying his hardest at Auburn…they were grilling out tonight and I can't wait to hear about it!
    Mainly, I love the new sound in your writing and in your blog in general. It's so personable and I really love it! You are a true role model for me in blogging and I'm so glad we met when we did! Hope the rest of your summer is wonderful! I will never forget all of the questions you answered for me and all of the advice you gave me! I truly appreciate it!

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    1. Carolyn, I so love it when you comment on my blog, with such heart-felt sincerity and honest perspective. I've been really enjoying your blog as well (readers, please check it out)- so much visual beauty in what you post, with equally beautiful sentiment. I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer as well (though it lasts much longer down south than up here!) and that your son is off to a very good start at Auburn! Keep reading, and writing, and I'll continue to follow the happenings in your neck of the woods! Thanks so much again! You are the best!

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  2. a great main course should be followed by chocolate cake(as seen on your FB page)

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    1. Judy, I agree wholeheartedly! Thank you!

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  3. This is a comment to win that d--- cake you posted on facebook! Now I wa-a-nt it ! You are not good for a girls' waistline!!

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  4. Jeannie - thanks for providing the revisions to the recipe - that helps knowing that there are options when cooking. So many times I try a brand new recipe and run to the store to make sure I have every single item listed for the ingredients. I guess I am too much of a "follow the rules" kind of girl that I do not easily stray from the required. ;-)

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    1. Well, Kim, since for most of my life I have NOT been the "follow the rules" kind of girl (!), I made adaptations all over the place, and it usually works out! :) Thanks so much for your comment, and for following the blog! I really appreciate it!

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  5. Simple and yummy as usual!!Looks like you had a wonderful trip...welcome home.....will be in touch
    C June

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  6. I'm a huge chicken piccata fan...love everything about it. The lemon gives it a nice brightness, the capers add that salty bite and the parsley (when you have it) brings the freshness of summer to the table. I always add wine to mine as well Jeannie. Such a great meal. Food memories are always so much fun to relive in your mind...even better when relived at the table!

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  7. I make chicken piccatta with wine as well and even add the capers despite the scrunched up faces from the kids asking what those "weird things" are. It is a favorite in my house :)

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  8. I make Giada's veal marsala recipe (I use it for chicken too). This one has no flour so it's perfect for me. Although if I do dredge I use sweet rice flour.

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  9. Jeanie looks like you had a wonderful month with family and friends .My favorite recipies posted were lemon curd and chicken picata yummy! thanks !

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