Monday, June 7, 2010

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Piccata with spinach angel hair

For over a year, Sean has worked night shift (3pm-after midnight) while I’ve had the “normal” schedule of 7:30 or 8 until 3 or 4. This meant we came and went each day, missing each other by minutes and only seeing each other 1 day each weekend.

This week was somewhat of a vacation for me. Yes, I was still working everyday and had not gone anywhere. But Sean's last day at ACE was Monday, so every day this week when I got home, he was there. I had begun to go a bit crazy alone, talking to myself while watching tv and attributing it to "talking to the dogs" when even they weren't listening. It was so simple but nice to have him there with me.

And, because I was now cooking for 2 people to eat together, rather than for myself and then immediately boxing his up, I cooked supper every night of the week. Our Sunday evening dinner is a new absolute favorite. It is courtesy of Rachel Ray from her Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine. It looks impressive, but really isn’t, so make it for company or a date night dinner. Here’s her recipe, and alterations I made with a *star*.

· 1/4 cup flour *I used less
· 2 eggs *I used just 1
· 1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided *I used grated parmesan
· 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded 1/4-inch thick *I used 2 large breasts
· Salt
· 1/2 pound angel hair pasta
· 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
· Juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 sliced lemon *Walmart was out of lemons so I just used lemon juice
· 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped *I used jarred, pre-mined garlic
· 1/4 cup capers, drained and patted dry, or 12 caper berries, sliced *I’m not a fan so left them out.
· 1/2 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
· 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped *I used dried. Didn’t have fresh on hand.
· 1/2 cup chicken stock *I used canned chicken broth
· 2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
· One package baby spinach (5 ounces) *I used 8 oz frozen spinach
· Pepper


Place the flour on a plate. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs; place 1 cup cheese on another plate. One at a time, coat the chicken with the flour, then egg and then cheese, pressing to adhere. Transfer to a plate.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tbs EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until deeply golden, 10 minutes.
Transfer to a platter and cover with foil. *I put mine into a baking dish and let it bake in the oven to finish cooking all the way through. And so it would be warm right out of the oven when I finished the rest.*

Add the remaining 1 tbs EVOO, one turn of the pan, to the skillet. Add the sliced lemon, garlic and capers and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and parsley and cook until reduced, 1 minute. Lower the heat and simmer.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it, add the pasta and cook to al dente, 3 minutes. Drain, reserving a ladleful of water. *Add a little olive oil so your pasta doesn’t stick while you finish up the sauce.

Stir the chicken stock into the sauce for 1 minute. Stir in the butter until melted, then stir in the lemon juice. Spoon a little sauce over the chicken. Add the spinach to the remaining sauce in the skillet and cook until wilted. Add the reserved pasta cooking water. *I added frozen spinach straight from the bag and let it cook in the sauce for 6 minutes.*
Stir in the pasta and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining cheese and toss. *Here I added shredded parmesan. *

Serve the pasta with the chicken.

It's beautiful! And so delicious. Lemony, buttery, cheesy. YUM.

Oliver reeeally wanted some.

Goodbye ACE! We're ready for the next chapter...This one's gotten kinda old.
2 weeks of clinicals left for me and 3 weeks of class left for him. Movin' on up!

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