Cathartic Cooking

Jen is commenter of the week for letting us know that the tiny green broom is actually a basting brush! So, that’s cool.

I know I promised you a grocery store post, but that’s going to have to wait. My brain resents anything that has more than five steps, and grocery shopping has like, ten.

So instead, angry cooking!!

If you ever have a lot of pent up emotions, you should make chicken picatta. It’s delicious, and you get to hit things.

Chicken Picatta:

1/4 cup all purpose flour

Course salt and freshly ground pepper

4 chicken cutlets (little pieces of boneless chicken)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons dry white wine

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or however much you have left…)

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Once you have assembled your ingredients, you get to do the fun part. You’re going to take the four cutlets, cover them with plastic wrap, and beat the hell out of them with a mallet.

However, too much enthusiasm can be dangerous.

The goal in pounding the meat (grow up) is to make it a uniform thickness. According to Martha, this will help it to cook evenly.

The next step is to whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. You will then dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, coating it evenly.

I really don't like touching raw meat.

Next you heat the oil and a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Place the chicken in a single layer until it browns, about 2-3 minutes for each side.

Caitlyn says they look like manatees.

Once cooked through, remove the chicken and reduce the heat. The best part of chicken picatta is the light buttery sauce, which I’ll show you how to make now.

You’re going to add the wine, scraping any browned bits from the pan with a wooden spoon. Prepare yourself for the wine. When I poured it in, I was expecting it to just bubble in the pan. This is what happened instead:

This was not part of the plan

I’m not sure why this happened. Was my heat too high? Probably. Did it help that I bought terrible wine from the gas station? Probably not. It splattered everywhere. On the plus side, we discovered our ceiling fan works.

After the fireworks, you’ll continue scraping until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the lemon juice, parsley, capers, and remaining butter. Swirl to incorporate, and drizzle over the chicken.

Eat me!

And you’re done! Hopefully you’ve gotten rid of your inner rage, between the chicken smashing and exciting wine. We ended up eating the chicken on one plate, with two forks and one knife. Baby steps, people.


February 3, 2012. Tags: , , , . Cooking.


  1. Lisa replied:

    Caitlyn you are SO right. They really do look like manatees!!

  2. Mama C replied:

    Time for Mom to weigh in …The chicken looks awesome and definitely worth the potential pyrotechnics (fire extinguisher on its way to you via the winged gods of Amazon). BUT, buying wine at the gas station? That’s the dangerous part of the recipe. You see that pretty Eifel tower wine rack on your kitchen table? Those little round slots are for holding WINE. It’s especially handy for holding several bottle of Two Buck Chuck that work well for all your wine cooking emergencies. Make your mom happy and toodle over to Trader Joe’s to buy a case today–my treat. Then take a sharpie and mark the bottles “for cooking only”. That might slow you down just enough to have some left the next time you have a culinary crisis.

  3. the hungry irishman replied:

    too hot may have been the case, also, you may have had too much leftover oil in the pan, you should try dumping the excess oil, before scraping up the browny goodness. when you add the wine to deglaze the pan, the wine will pick up all of that flavor, plus you won’t have excess fat from the oil in your sauce.

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