Chicken Piccata with Gruyere Orzo + Broccolini
Why we love it:
- 1⁄2 Onion (small dice)
- 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (divided)
- 1 pound Orzo Pasta (1 typically sized box)
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 4 cups Chicken Stock (divided)
- 1⁄2 cup Water
- 1 bunch Broccolini
- 1⁄2 cup Gruyere (shredded)
- 11⁄4 pounds Chicken Cutlets (boneless/skinless, if you have regular chicken breast pieces, you can butterfly them so they become thin cutlets)
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 5 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
- 2 Lemons (zest and juice, divided)
- 1⁄3 cup Capers (drained)
- 1⁄4 cup Fresh Parsley (chopped)
Dice the onion in small pieces.
In a medium pot with a tight fitting lid, melt 1 teaspoon of butter. Sauté the onion for about 2 minutes then add the orzo. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the garlic powder. Stir to coat, then pour in 2 cups of stock and the ½ cup of water. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
While the orzo comes to a boil, set up your broccolini. Trim off just a little sliver of the stems.
If you have a stove top steamer basket use that in a pot with 1 inch of water. Cover and set on the burner, ready to go.
If not, you can either microwave the broccolini in a glass bowl with ½ inch of water and a microwave safe lid (a plate usually works!). Or place it on a baking sheet with a pinch of salt and drizzle of oil and heat the oven to 400. Bake for about 6 minutes until crisp tender.
3. BACK TO ORZO
Once its boiling, stir well and cover fully. Turn the heat down to low and set a timer for 18 minutes.
Grate the gruyere and set it next to the pot in a bowl. When the timer goes off, you’ll be sautéing chicken. Having it ready will help you. Stir the cheese into the orzo and cover the pot again. Turn off the heat and let it just rest until serving dinner.
4. PREP CHICKEN
If you have regular chicken breasts - set them on a steady cutting board and butterfly them. That is, cut in ½ with your knife parallel to the floor. Go slowly and use a sharp thin knife. You’ll then have cutlets.
Sprinkle the cutlets evenly with about a ½ teaspoon of salt.
Dust them with flour, flipping over to lightly coat both sides. Shake off any excess.
5. COOK CHICKEN
In a large flat skillet over medium high heat, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter and add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. When the butter starts to sizzle, add a few pieces of chicken. Don’t overcrowd and definitely don’t let the chicken overlap. Cook for 4 minutes, until browned. Flip and cook other side for 3 - 4 minutes until its done and the chicken is cooked through. Remove and transfer to plate.
During this cooking process, if the pan starts to burn or its getting browned before the chicken is cooked through, turn the heat down. If the chicken stays pale in color, you can turn it up a bit.
Melt another Tablespoon of butter and add more olive oil too, if the pan seems dry. Place the next batch of chicken in the pan. Flip after 3 - 4 minutes when browned, and cook through. Remove the chicken from the pan. If a 3rd batch is needed, go for it. Turn off the heat but keep the pan on the stove.
Zest 1 lemon and juice both of them (bonus points for zesting both but freezing ½ in a tupperware for later - or stir the extra zest into a ¼ cup of sugar and use the next time you bake).
If you have a moment during the sautéing of the chicken, you can do that then.
To the still hot pan, with brown bits in it, add the lemon juice. Add the remaining stock and turn the burner to medium, bringing to a simmer. Stir in the capers and lemon zest. Whisk well to scrape up the brown flavorful bits.
Check for seasoning, add a pinch of salt as needed. Add 1 Tablespoon of butter, the parsley and whisk, then return all of the chicken to the pan (it’s ok to overlap this time) and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes.
Serve the orzo with chicken. Broccolini on the side and generously spoon the sauce over top.