Monday, December 27, 2010
Once or twice a year my daughter and I head to what the local news stations now call the "Metro" (an amalgamation of 3 cities), for a day that begins with coffee and pastries at a French Bakery, involves shopping and ends with a nice dinner. The first time I had chicken piccata was on one of these excursions, we ended our day at a very fine Italian restaurant and I ordered the special, chicken piccata. It turned out to be one of the best chicken dishes I have ever had. Ever since then I have been searching for a recipe that could compare, I have tried a few but until now I have been disappointed.
We recently spent a wonderful weekend with my son and his wife. My talented daughter-in-law knits, sews, makes jewelry, is an artistic photographer and an amazing cook. While we were there she made us this delicious salmon piccata, substituting salmon for chicken in the recipe she was using. This was the piccata recipe I had been searching for, it had just the right amount of lemon and capers.
The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity, only a few ingredients so it is not complicated by a lot of flavors. This recipe uses more lemon and capers than other piccata recipes so the sauce is full of bold flavor. The original recipe from Cook's Illustrated uses chicken, however replacing the chicken with salmon turned out to be a brilliant idea. The salmon was moist and delicious with this sauce. I think chicken, salmon, or another meaty fish would be equally delicious.
We made a salad of greens, onion, blackberries and crumbled blue cheese to go with the dish, it was a very good combination and nothing more was needed.
(adapted from a Cooks' Illustrated recipe)
2 large lemons
4 salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons drained small capers
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, set large heatproof plate on rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Halve 1 lemon pole to pole. Trim ends from one half and cut crosswise into slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick; set aside. Juice remaining half and whole lemon to obtain 1/4 cup juice; reserve.
3. Sprinkle both sides of fillets with salt and pepper. Measure flour into pie tin or shallow baking dish. Working 1 fillet at a time, coat with flour, and shake to remove excess.
4. Heat heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes; add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl pan to coat. Lay half of the salmon fillets in the skillet. Saute, without moving them, until lightly browned on first side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Turn fillets and cook until second side is lightly browned, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and transfer fillets to plate in oven. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to now-empty skillet and heat until shimmering. Add remaining fillets and repeat.
5. Add onion to now-empty skillet and return skillet to medium heat. Saute until translucent, add broth and lemon slices, increase heat to high, and scrape skillet bottom with wooden spoon or spatula to loosen browned bits. Simmer until liquid reduces to about 1/3 cup, about 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and capers and simmer until sauce reduces again to 1/3 cup, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and swirl in butter until butter melts and thickens sauce; swirl in parsley. Spoon sauce over fillets and serve immediately.
Sense of Home / Recipes / Main Dishes
This post is linked to Delicious Dishes and Tuesday Twister.