1largechicken breastskin-off; hand trimmed; cut in half lengthwise
2tablespoonsoilnot olive oil; canola, vegetable, peanut or grapeseed (see notes)
2teaspoons saltdivided (1 tsp. for breasts; 1 tsp. for flour)
1teaspoonblack pepperdivided (½tsp. for breasts; ½ tsp. for flour)
Lemon Sauce Ingredients
¼-½cupfresh lemon juice(about 2 large lemons or 4-6 small lemons)
¾cupdry white wine(optional)
Pat dry with paper towel
Slice in half lengthwise
Pound breasts to ¼ inch thick
Lightly season breast halves with salt and pepper
Place flour and remaining salt and pepper in a shallow bowl; combine well
Using tongs, dredge each breast through the flour, coating thoroughly
Preheat oven to 250ºF (do this if you are cooking the chicken in batches; keeps them warm while you're making the sauce) (see notes)
In a heavy bottom skillet on medium to medium-high heat, add oil and 4 tablespoons of butter
Bring oil/butter mixture to a temperature around 310-316ºF
Place flour coated breast in hot skillet; allow to cook for 3 minutes (lift the edge of the breast after about 3 minutes to see if the center is browning; if not, continue to cook another 2 minutes) (see notes)
Turn the breast half over and cook an additional 3 - 5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF
Remove from skillet and place in warm oven, uncovered
Make the Sauce
In a medium saucepan, melt butter
Whisk in cornstarch and allow to cook for 1 minute; add lemon juice, wine (optional) and drained capers; taste for salt
Plate chicken breasts and drizzle piccata sauce over the top
If you're making more than two servings, you may need to add additional oil and butter in between each batch; if so, allow it to reach a high temperature before placing the next coated breast in the skillet.
Everytime you add more butter/oil, the breast coating turns out darker than the first. If this makes you crazy, replace all the oil/butter between each batch.
If you find your first breast is browning too fast, but it's not reaching an internal temperature of 165ºF, turn the heat down a little.
The oil temperature should be around 310-316ºF. If you're chicken breast is really thin, it will cook to an internal temperature of 165ºF at about 3 minutes on each side. Thicker cutlets might take 5 minutes on each side.
Use tongs and lift the edge to see if it's browning, but don't move it for at least 3 minutes, otherwise, you run the risk of losing the flour coating.