Paleo Piccata!

Chicken piccata is usually made with floured and pan fried chicken in a creamy butter and white wine sauce. In order to paleo it up we have to eliminate two main ingredients: flour and white wine. White wine adds a fruity, acidic, citrusy flavor to sauces that are delicious over seafood and chicken.  The problem is that most recipes call for a cup or so of the vino, and with that you’re quickly adding at least 122 calories as well as carbs and sugars to your dish.  We solve the problem by using an aged white wine vinegar. The one I found is made with pinot grigio, and it provides the flavors you want in only a few tablespoons. Its also a good item to have on hand for a quick salad dressing. The second roadblock is the chicken itself. Most recipes call for the chicken breasts to be dredged in flour. It doesn’t SEEM like a lot, but you could be putting. Much as a half a cup of flour into your dinner by doing this step.  The point here is to A) create a golden, crispy crust on the chicken and B) the flour that sticks to the pan is used as a thickening agent in the sauce.  Solution: season the chicken with salt and pepper and SEAR it over medium high to high heat. The trick is to NOT TOUCH IT for at least 3 minutes on each side. DO NOT FLIP IT, DO NOT MOVE IT AROUND IN THE PAN!! It needs to sit still on the hot surface to create a good sear and a golden crust.  As for the thickening…I don’t find it totally necessary, but if you really want to thicken it up, add a teaspoon of corn starch.  It dissolves more smoothly and thickens much better so you don’t need nearly as much.
Now for the recipe….
Simple ingredients you will need:
* 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
* 1 big clove garlic, minced
* 1 shallot
* 2 tbsp butter (more if you want, but that’s your call!)
* 1 tbsp capers
* 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
* 1 lemon (zest and juice)
* 2/3 cup chicken stock (unsalted or low sodium)
* Olive oil, salt and pepper

1. Heat a few teaspoons of olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and sear on each side (3-4 min per side…you’re looking for a beautifully golden brown color, remove from pan and reserve on the side.

2. In the same pan, add in the shallot and saute until translucent, 5 minutes. Toss in garlic and cook another 1 min until aromatic.  Now comes the white wine vinegar, chicken stock, and lemon juice. Deglaze the pan!! This mean use a wooden spoon to scrape off all the yummy brown bits left behind by the chicken. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer (this is when you would wisk in some cornstartch if you are adding it),

3. Now add in the butter, capers (chopped), basil (chopped), and salt and pepper to taste. After everything is blended, toss your chicken back into the pan (with any juices that have collected while it was resting!)

4. Swirl around your pan or use tongs to flip..ljust make sure the chicken gets coated in the sauce. Let it simmer for 5 minites so the chicken cooks through in the sauce. If you’re using chicken thighs, you’ll need to simmer for 5 min, covered, and then another 5 per side uncovered on low.

Serve with some roasted veggies (I did some broccoli and tomatoes with garlic) and chow down!!