Leading off our series of Italian cuisine dishes that are a good fit for Type 2 Diabetics is Chicken Piccata.
Chicken Piccata is an example of the best type of home-cooked healthy food – fresh, appealing, and full of flavor! The savory pan sauce made of butter, lemon, parsley, and capers is extremely tasty. It doesn’t smother the chicken in a thick sludge of breading, but rather complements it instead. You will be mopping up every last drop of the lemony pan sauce because it is that good!
In this recipe, the chicken breasts are pounded thin – you can use the smooth side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin to pound the raw meat flat, with a piece of plastic wrap under the meat and another piece on top of the meat. Then the chicken is lightly breaded and baked. When you make the chicken pieces thinner by pounding them flat, they cook quickly and evenly, and make a nice broad base for the incredible pan sauce.
What are capers anyway? They are the flower bud of a plant grown in the Mediterranean, and are cured much the same way that olives are. Typically, they are found in your grocery store in the olive or pickle section. They are not expensive – a 6-8 oz. jar will cost about $2 in my area. Capers add a briny flavor, not as tart as a pickle, and with a more delicate flavor than olives.
Preheat the oven to 475° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, then spray the parchment generously with cooking spray and set aside.
Slice the chicken breast in half lengthwise and lay open on a large piece of plastic wrap, with several inches of overhang around the edges. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap with several inches of overhang around the edges.
Then pound to ¼-inch thickness. Season each chicken breast with salt (optional) and ground black pepper.
Set up three wide bowls or flat-bottom containers (Tip: use recycled foil pie pans). Fill the first bowl with the whole wheat flour, the second bowl with the egg and lemon juice, and the third bowl with the breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning. Whisk the egg and lemon juice together. Combine the breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning and mix well.
Dredge one chicken breast in the flour and shake off the excess. Then dip the chicken breast in the egg, and then coat in the breadcrumb mixture. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat this process for the remaining three chicken breasts.
Spray the top of each chicken breast with cooking spray and bake for 6-7 minutes. Turn the chicken breasts over and bake for 5 more minutes. Ensure that the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
While the chicken is baking, heat the oil and butter over medium heat in a small nonstick skillet. Add the capers and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and cook until the lemon juice is halfway reduced. Add the chicken broth and simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the parsley.
Remove the chicken from the oven and divide the sauce over the chicken.