Let me tell you a little secret. I am quite lucky. On Wednesday Night (and Dave’s 26th Birthday-Happy Birthday!) we flew to PA to visit his parents and my mom joined from Texas. Then I spent the next two days wedding dress shopping with the moms (nothing picked yet but I have some thoughts narrowed down). At every shop, the girl helping me into countless dresses would remark that I am so lucky that my moms get along, and they do. I am lucky that I will be marrying into such a fun, loving and caring family and that they mesh so well with my own parents.
It just so happened that Dave met my mom after dating me for only a month. She came to Chicago in October during my first year of law school to take me “winter clothes shopping” since I moved to Chicago from Texas with absolutely no clue about what would make me properly equipped for Chicago winters (Uggs, Knee Length Puffy Coat, North Face Fleece). I first met Dave’s parents a few months later after the holidays, at their house in West Chester, PA. I will admit that I was intimidated to meet the parents that were responsible for raising the prep-school and Ivy League educated son that I was totally falling for. But I was worried for no good reason because they ended up being the most down-to-Earth, easy-to-get-along-with parents I have ever met.
Rich, Dave’s Dad, is a fun guy to spend some time with in the kitchen. He loves (and knows oodles about) wine, really loves food, and doesn’t mind showing me his tricks. Coincidentally, the first meal I had at their house was Lemon Chicken, which Rich talked me through cooking last night. This is one of those dinners that you really can’t whip up in 20 mins after a long day of work but is still simple and impressive if you have the time to go through the steps (and really only takes 45 mins to an hour). We ate the chicken last night with “David’s Potato Salad” (which is just a simple dill vinaigrette on red potatoes) and Brussels sprouts with bacon and pecans. It would be equally as good over some linguine or with a side of rice with some roasted broccoli or steamed asparagus.
Rich’s Lemon Chicken (printable recipe)
Recipe from Rich’s Teachings–measurements are not too critical
For the Chicken:
1 package (about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds) thin cut chicken breasts (or buy normal ones and pound to an even thin layer)
About a cup of all-purpose flour
Panko bread crumbs
Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper
For the Sauce:
Glug of white wine
1 cup good quality chicken stock (low sodium if not homemade)
1 cup lemon juice from a bottle (or about 3/4 cup if using fresh)
3 or 4 ounces capers; drained from the jar
2 lemons, preferably organic or really scrubbed since you are eating the rind, thinly sliced
Heat some oil in a large non-stick pan over medium to medium-high heat (depends on your cooktop). Rinse and dry the chicken breasts. Scoop the flour onto a large plate and mix in some salt and fresh ground pepper. In a large bowl scramble 2 eggs (you might need more later). In another plate, spread panko into a nice even pile. Take a dry chicken breast and dredge lightly in the flour, then in the egg, then in the panko. Pat down the panko on the chicken to make sure that stuck on well and it is in an even layer. Cook the chicken in the pan until brown on each side. It will take a few minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and place on a plate while you cook the rest. Continue the process until all the chicken is cooked. Transfer the plateful of chicken to an oven at 250F to keep warm.
To make the sauce:
Pour a good glug of some white wine in the cooking pan and stir constantly to deglaze all the yummy fond. Allow the wine to cook off until it is about 75% gone. Pour the lemon juice in the pan, and then add the chicken stock and bring back to boil. Then add the sliced lemons and capers and boil until by more than half. Salt and pepper to taste.
Plate the chicken and scoop some sauce on top. Make sure to get capers and lemons on each piece. Serve onto pasta or with a side of rice or potato salad, etc.