Saturday, October 01, 2011

Lemon-Caper-Garlic Sauce:Stealing the Sauce from Piccata

Ever eat chicken—or veal or turkey—piccata in an Italian restaurant and find the sauce so deliriously yummy you wish you could lick the plate? Something about the tangy lemon, those little pickled capers, the garlicky savoriness--something makes piccata sauce fabulous. Well, have you ever thought about making that sauce yourself? And better yet, making the lemon-caper-garlic sauce and using it on other foods? Say, grilled salmon, steamed broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus? How about tofu? Why not? Steal a great sauce and make it your bitch. It's easy to make and oh-so-gratifying.

Lemon-Caper-Garlic Piccata Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
5 or 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon capers, drained
Juice of one lemon
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon flour to thicken
2 tablespoons butter
Lemon slices to garnish

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and saute lightly. Stir in the wine and heat to reduce by half. Stir in the capers, lemon juice and chicken broth. Mix the flour with enough water to make a thin paste and mix it into the sauce, stirring constantly while it thickens. Add the butter and remove from heat. Drizzle the sauce over your food of choice and garnish with the lemon slice (you can also sprinkle with chopped Italian parsley or cilantro, for a green effect).

Note: To make real piccata, as served in restaurants, dredge your thin meat/fish/tofu in salt-and-peppered flour, saute lightly on each side, and then set aside. In the same frying pan, deglaze with the wine, etc. and prepare the sauce as directed. Once it's thickened, add back in the meat/tofu and saute once more, lightly on each side. Serve with the lemon slices. (The only difference is that Italian restaurant-style doesn't add flour to thicken.)