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Chicken Piccata

October 27, 2010

Last night over a glass of wine and a mouthful of hummus and pita chips, I hacked into a spaghetti squash.  I halved it, poked it with holes, and shoved it in the oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.  I shredded my squash noodles and stuck it in the fridge for another night.  That night was tonight.

Some may say that spaghetti squash is the “perfect” substitute for pasta when you are avoiding the “C” word.  I’m not going to tell you that.  That would be a lie and lies are bad.  Pasta is pasta, and if you want pasta, please just eat some pasta.  Your tummy will thank you.

But let’s talk hypothetically for a minute.  Say you’ve celebrated one anniversary and one birthday in the last week or so.  And let’s say you may have had a cookie or ten and your fair share of birthday cake throughout the past few days.  You’re thinking some extra vegetables with dinner may be a good idea, and you’re not really feeling pasta for dinner.  Enter the spaghetti squash “noodles” topped with chicken piccata.

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Chicken Piccata  adopted from Giada de Laurentiis

  • 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast, butterflied and then cut in half
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • parsley, chopped (I used dried although fresh would taste 100 times better)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cover chicken with flour and shake off any excess.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil, about 2 swirls around the pan, in large skillet. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes.

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Remove and transfer to plate.  Chop up your clove of garlic and add to the pan.  Cook the garlic for about a minute.  Take care not to let the garlic burn.  Burnt garlic is not tasty.  Add the lemon juice and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor.  Once it starts to boil, lower the heat and add the chicken back into the skillet.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.

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Remove chicken to platter. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the sauce and whisk.  You can thicken the mixture by adding a teaspoon of flour.

Top your spaghetti squash with a piece of chicken and drizzle the sauce over the chicken.  Sprinkle some parsley on top and enjoy.  The result is a mixture of savory/tangy and should leave your home smelling delicious.

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