Chicken piccata gets the full pasta treatment! Cook the penne, make a quick butter sauce, and assemble it all together. This easy lemony chicken dish will wow your kids!
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into cutlets about 3/4-inch thick
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- Juice from 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons of juice)
- 1/4 cup capers
- 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the DAD ADD: Buttered Italian Breadcrumbs:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil, and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package instructions. Scoop out and reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta-cooking water, and then drain the pasta. Set aside.
2 Make the Dad Add – Buttered Breadcrumbs: In a small skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Add breadcrumbs and stir them well so they evenly soak up the butter.
Cook on low heat until the breadcrumbs start to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Watch them closely, as they can go from perfect to burned quickly.
3 Prep the chicken: Mix together the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl. Whisk the eggs in a second shallow bowl. Dip the chicken breasts first in the egg and then coat them with the flour mixture. They should have a very light coating on them. Let chicken rest on a plate.
4 Fry the chicken: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil sizzles immediately when you sprinkle a little flour in it, it's ready. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side (8 to 10 minutes total). Check cooked chicken with a meat thermometer to make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
Remove chicken from the skillet, and let it rest while you finish the dish.
5 Make the piccata sauce: Pour out all but about 2 tablespoons of the oil in the skillet, and add the 2 tablespoons butter. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add onions and sliced garlic. Stir the veggies, cooking for a few minutes until they soften.
Add chicken stock and lemon juice, and using a wooden spoon, scrape up any bits stuck to the pan.
6 Finish the dish: Add the cooked penne to the skillet. Toss the penne with the lemon butter sauce. If the pan seems dry, add enough of the reserved 1/2 cup pasta cooking water so the pasta no longer seems dry.
After the chicken has cooled slightly, chop the skillet fried chicken into big chunks, and add back into the penne mixture. Garnish with fresh parsley and capers.
7 Garnish and serve: Serve the penne while warm, topping each bowl with the crispy buttered Italian breadcrumbs.
This dish keeps great in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. If you can plan ahead on the portion you will keep for leftovers, it’s best to actually store the chicken and pasta separately. Otherwise, the chicken will get soggy. Reheat the chicken in a 350°F oven for about 8 minutes, and then chop and add to reheated penne pasta.