One of the first meals I ever cooked away from home was chicken piccata, a dish I grew up eating a lot (I requested it all the time). It’s still a staple in my kitchen today, and I love to play around with the technique and flavors to create new-ish recipes inspired by the classic rendition.
A few nights ago, I wanted something super easy and fast for dinner since I had already spent the whole day in the kitchen testing, photographing, and editing recipes for the second issue of edible Orlando. I looked in the fridge; a few chicken tenders, a half-drunk bottle of Chardonnay, a half a bag of arugula, and about a quarter of a box of chicken stock stared back. Just enough, I thought, for some kind of piccata-esque meal.
You can use spinach or watercress here instead of (my current obsession) arugula, and you could easily do this with chicken breast cutlets or even thin slabs of tofu for a vegetarian version. If you don’t have wine for the sauce, that’s OK, too. Just replace it with more chicken stock. Fresh herbs would be nice here—dill or parsley if you have them. If not, it’s lively enough as is. You could pair this with some orzo or brown rice to round out the meal.
Super Fast Lemony Chicken with Tender Greens
I prefer chicken stock for this recipe, as opposed to chicken broth, because it makes a richer sauce. Kitchen Basics makes my favorite kind, and Progresso also has one that’s pretty good. Look for low-sodium since you’re reducing it.
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Coarse salt and ground black pepper
6 chicken tenders
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup Chardonnay or other dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
3 big handfuls arugula or other tender greens
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour in a shallow dish and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken tenders in flour mixture, coating evenly, and shaking off excess. Place coated chicken in the hot oil. Cook until golden brown and cooked through. Set chicken aside on a plate.
Add lemon juice, wine, and chicken stock to the pan; scrape any brown bits from the bottom with a spoon. Simmer sauce until reduced and slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Taste, and add salt and pepper. If the sauce tastes too tangy, add a splash of chicken broth, and keep simmering until reduced. Turn heat off.
Add chicken tenders and arugula to the skillet, and toss gently to coat everything in the sauce and to wilt the greens. Serve immediately.