Chicken Piccata and Garlicky Shanghai Bok Choy

East meets west.

That’s the theme of today’s weekend meal. I didn’t have anything planned, so I opened my fridge and did a quick once-over. Chicken. Butter. Lemons. Shanghai bok choy. And a bunch of other things.

Okay, I thought. This didn’t seem to hard to tackle. I’d watch my mom and dad cook chicken many times. Some seasoning. Choose the cook method. Plate it up.

DSC_0027.JPGToday’s dish is inspired by Ina Garten’s Chicken Piccata. I came across the recipe through a video on my Facebook newsfeed. I’d heard of chicken piccata before but never knew what it exactly is. Ina made it look so easy. Season the chicken. Bread and brown both sides on a skillet before sticking it in the oven. For the sauce, melt some butter, white wine, and lemon and cook until reduced in half.

Seems simple enough. But why the fancy name? I went to my good trusty friend, Wikipedia for the answer. Piccata, when used to refer to a way of preparing food, means “sliced, sautéed, and served in a sauce containing lemon, butter, and spices”. Brilliant.DSC_0023.JPG

So I had the main dish down. What about a vegetable dish? I went to one of my favorite Asian food blog sites, The Woks of Life, and found a recipe for garlic baby bok choy. I only had Shanghai bok choy, which has light green leaves and pale yellow-green stalks versus the regular bok choy, which has dark green leaves and white stalks. But this was not a problem – both kinds can be cooked the same way.

And to make sure is happily satiated, I boiled and fried up some pierogi I had prepared the week before. They were still as good as last week – and I didn’t burn them as much as the first time.

DSC_0020See? No black edges. And it’s quite simple. Just some mashed potato in homemade dumpling dough. Follow the recipe here.

So there you have it. A complete weekend meal: Chicken Piccata with Garlicky Shanghai Bok Choy and Potato Pierogi.


Chicken Piccata

adapted from Ina Garten

1 (whole) boneless, skinless chicken breast, split into 2 or 3 pieces lengthwise depending on how thick it is
Salt and ground black pepper, for seasoning
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 extra-large egg
1/2 tablespoon of water
3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
Canola or olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine, or 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup water
Sliced lemon, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a glass baking pan with cooking oil.

Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound to 1/4 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate. Beat the egg and 1/2 tablespoon of water in another plate. Place bread crumbs in a third plate. Coat chicken with flour, shake off excess, then dip in egg and bread crumb mixtures.

Heat cooking oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Cook chicken breast for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them in the glass baking pan and allow them to bake for 30 minutes. (Every oven is different keep an eye out for doneness.)

Prepare the sauce while the chicken bakes. Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add the lemon juice, wine or vinegar mixture, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to combine. Discard lemon halves and plate chicken breasts. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve with slice of lemon.

Garlicky Shanghai Bok Choy

from Woks of Life

1 pound shanghai bok choy
2 tablespoon oil
5 cloves minced garlic
salt and white pepper, to taste
pinch of sugar

Trim the bottoms off of each bundle and split in half or quarters. Thoroughly clean the bok choy by rinsing and soaking in cold water. Repeat this rinse and soak process at least 2 or 3 times. Make sure to drain the bok choy well.

Heat a wok over high heat until smoking, and add oil. Swirl around the oil so the wok is coated. Add all the garlic. Immediately add the bok choy and stir quickly to saute them in the oil and garlic. Make sure not to burn the garlic.

Use a folding motion to turn the vegetables in the wok. After they have wilted a bit, add the seasonings: salt, pepper, and sugar. Cooking time is up to your preference. Cook longer for a softer texture and shorter for a crisper bite. Plate and serve immediately.



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