Stepping into the holiday season we are pulled in so many different directions. The holidays are such a festive time but they bring their own version of stress. To navigate them successfully we must plan fiercely. This means our time, finances and other resources become strained. I started to look at this a bit and the word budget slipped in there. Yes, this is the time to budget our most precious resources, time and money.
This is a time for entertaining. Why not entertain economically? I sat with this for a while and my mind wandered back to my time in Italy, learning to cook with my Italian friends. They eat so well but very frugally. Sure, when you go to a restaurant or a feast it’s pretty intense but their home cooking is so simple and elegant. In a flash I created an amazing menu for four that is elegant, flavorful, easy and economical.
I never had Chicken piccata in Italy but they were my inspiration for this dish. The Italians eat so well, they have a small portion of pasta, soup or other option for the primi or first course, and then have the meat as a secondi or second course, with a vegetable that is called a contorno.
Now, we are Americans and tend to compose all of the elements of dinner on one plate. There is nothing wrong with this. I’ve plated them both ways and discuss this in the video below. Either way you choose to serve it, this is a meal to be proud of.
I love the flavors in this dish. The brightness of the lemon contrasts sharply with the briny capers creating a bold flavor. If capers aren’t your thing then omit them. You might want to add some cream to bind the dish together, maybe some extra lemon, the flavors will not be as assertive but it will be fine.
- 1 lb of Chicken Cutlets, four pieces pounded flat
- 1/3 cup of Flour
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/2 lb Linguini
- 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 4 Tablespoons of Butter
- 1 Shallot, minced
- 1/3 Cup of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice, Plus and extra lemon just in case
- 1 Cup of Chicken Stock
- 1 Cup of White Wine
- 3 - 4 Tablespoons of capers, rinsed
- Lemon Wedges, minced Parsley and parmesan cheese for garnish
- Pout the flour into a bowl or a pan large enough to dredge the chicken. Season with Salt and pepper, them mix well. Dredge the Chicken in the flour, shake off the excess and set aside for a moment.
- Put a large pasta pot on the stove, fill with at least 4 quarts of water, salt liberally and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, reduce heat and boil 5 minutes. The pasta will be underdone, trust me here. you'll use it later.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet add the olive oil and melt the butter. When the butter foams, add the chicken pieces. Do this in batches of two if necessary. Brown the chicken, 2 -3 minutes on each side and then transfer to a foil lined baking sheet and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Add the shallot to the pan, sauté for 2-3 minutes until they turn translucent. Add the chicken stock, wine and 1/3 cup of the lemon juice and simmer to reduce slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Add the capers and whisk to combine.
- Transfer 3/4 cup of the pan sauce to a measuring cup and set aside. Add the pasta to the skillet mix well and simmer until the pasta is al dente, adding the pasta water if it gets too dry.
- Divide the pasta between four plates and serve for a first course or set aside to finish the chicken.
- To finish the Chicken: Add the reserved sauce back to the pan, warm it over medium heat. Adjust the seasoning adding salt, pepper or additional lemon juice to your taste.
- Uncover the chicken, warm in the sauce if necessary, place the chicken on the pasta or on a plate, spoon the sauce over and serve with a green vegetable.
Either way you plate it, if you want to all out then finish up the meal with a simple salad of bitter greens, maybe with some shredded radicchio for color. I like to pass a box of chocolate or maybe some cookies with espresso for dessert and there you have it.
I’m so grateful to be part of this community. This event has been so much fun and now I have an amazing meal for four that costs about twenty dollars. That is five dollars a person and it’s better than a restaurant meal by a long shot. Now, if you want a bottle of wine you go up a few bucks a person but it is the holiday, isn’t it?
Bean and Bacon Soup by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Mexican Turkey Bean Soup by What Smells So Good?
Pasta e Fagioli by The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine
Turkey and Dumpling Soup by Palatable Pastime
Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup by Pancake Warriors
Apple Burgers by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Authentic Havana Black Bean Soup by Lifestyle Food Artistry
Black Bean and Bell Pepper Quesadillas by My San Francisco Kitchen
Cajun Blackened Chicken Thighs by Feeding Big
Chicken Enchilada Casserole by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
Chicken Enchiladas by The Freshman Cook
Chicken Piccata by Monica’s Table
Chicken Tetrazzini by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
Chimichurri Chicken Thighs by Life Tastes Good
Easy Cheesy Egg Breakfast Bake with Potatoes and Bacon by From Gate to Plate [or breakfast] Easy Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
Egyptian Rice and Lentils by Wholistic Woman
French Onion Soup Twice Baked Potato by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Gnocchi with Fennel and Pork by Caroline’s Cooking
Italian Baked Chicken by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Lasagna Stuffed Acorn Squash by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Noodles by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
One-Pot Creamy Lentils and Kale by The Wimpy Vegetarian
Orzo with Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potatoes by Cooking Chat
Turkey Sausage and Pasta by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Twice Baked Sweet Potato Bar by Momma’s Meals
Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fried Noodles) by Curious Cuisinere
Hot Spiced Citrus Cider by Party Food and Entertaining
And more saving suggestions from the Sunday Supper Movement:
Budget-Friendly Meal Ideas for #SundaySupper
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