Growing up in a very Italian house, we, somewhat shockingly, never had many of the “Red Sauce Italian” dishes that you might find at your neighborhood Luigis. In fact, when I was booking the restaurant for my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary, I had to research (this was before the days of Google kids) just what chicken piccata was. Its become one of my favorites, and it’s really easy to make. (Side note, I’d kill for a good neighborhood “Red Sauce Italian restaurant around here, but DC has none)
I do the dish pretty much like every recipe you’ll find online, with one seemingly bizarre non-Italian tweak that I think makes all the difference in the world.
So here’s how you do it:
Take your meat, (in this case, I used veal), pound it paper-thin — then bread it by first dipping them dry into Italian bread crumbs, then it to an egg wash. Here’s where things get a little weird. Into the eggs, add some dry basil (normal) and paprika (bizarre). It gives the meat a nice warm flavor and helps with the color. Then dredge the wet meat in panko crumbs. If you don’t own a deep fryer, let the breading dry for at least an hour.
After an hour, heat up a pan with a few tablespoons of butter, then brown/cook the meat about 2 min a side. If you’ve pounded everything thin enough, this should be all the cooking you need. Take them out, and top them with some lemon zest. Then, in the same pan, add a few more tablespoons of butter, a half cup of chicken stock, the juice of 1-2 lemons, and a couple of teaspoons of capers. Let everything come together for a minute or two, then bring the scallopini back to the pan, just for a few seconds a side, long enough for the sauce to touch the breading, but not long enough to make it soggy.
Serve alongside a lighter wine — Pinot Noir, Sav Blanc, or maybe split the difference and go with a rose
Not counting the breading time, start to finish in 30 min or less.