Monday, August 24, 2009

Chicken and Peach Picatta

Calling this a "picatta" may or may not be a stretch, depending on how you look at it. A picatta is a dish made by first dredging and pan-searing a cutlet (chicken or veal), and then making a pan sauce with white wine, lemon juice, and herbs of some kind. You can also add capers for extra tang (hate capers). For this dish I dredged the chicken cutlets in flour and made the sauce with white wine and lemon juice. But then I went and added peaches and some cream, which some people may see as new and different, while purists may see as sacrilege. All I ask is that I don't get any hate mail :)

I had to laugh when I saw that tarragon was one of the ingredients for this Foodie Fight. I am not what you would call a fan of tarragon, so I almost never use it in my cooking (I can only think of one thing I use it in). Because I'm not used to the flavor I wasn't sure what it would go with, or even how much to use. In fact, the first time I made this picatta I used way too much, and it felt like it burned my mouth. Apparently (my husband looked it up online) tarragon is much more potent fresh than it is dry because the oils quickly dissipate when it's dried. Tricky herb, going against the rule of most herbs I know: the flavor of dried herbs is more concentrated than their fresh counterparts, so you can safely substitute double the amount of fresh for the amount of dried called for in a recipe. When I made the dish the second time I decreased the amount of tarragon, making it much more subtle and quite lovely--for tarragon.

I don't think I'm a tarragon convert quite yet, but with this dish I may be one step closer :)

Chicken and Peach Picatta

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 pound total
flour for dredging
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/3 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup chopped peaches, about 1/2 large peach

1. To make the cutlets, slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise.

2. Place the chicken pieces between two sheets of plastic wrap and use the smooth side of a meat pounder (I like a rubber mallet) to gently pound them to about 1/4-inch thick cutlets.

3. Spray a not non-stick skillet with non-stick spray, and add 2 teaspoons of the oil. Heat the pan over medium-high heat until hot (about 2 minutes), then reduce the heat to medium.

4. Season each cutlet with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper. Dredge the cutlets in flour and add them to the hot pan. Cook the cutlets until they are golden brown and cooked through, about 2 1/2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer them to a plate and cover the plate loosely with foil to keep them warm.

5. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the pan. Add the onion and saute until it's softened, about 5 minutes.

6. Deglaze the pan by adding the white wine and scraping all of the browned bits off the bottom of the pan (flavor, flavor, flavor). Simmer until the wine is almost gone, about 5 minutes.

7. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice, bring it all to a simmer, and reduce it by almost half, about 5 minutes.

8. Add the tarragon and simmer for two more minutes.

9. Add the cream, cook 1 minute more; stir in the peaches, and remove the pan from the heat.

10. Add the cutlets back to the pan and coat them with the sauce. Plate and enjoy!

This makes 2-4 servings, depending on how many cutlets you want (I ate one, my husband ate three).


  1. Oh yum! I can almost taste it and want to make this. Good luck in the contest!!

  2. this looks quite appetizing! I almost want to eat it off my screen!

  3. WOW, that looks great! Yummy Yummy! I vote for it!!! MaMa

  4. Every Tuesday I go and check Foodie Fights to see what has been concocted in the latest round. I look at all the recipes first with their "beauty shot" and then visit the blog of the one that I would most likely eat. You are the first one I visited this morning. I'm a sucker for anything with a sauce. Honestly purists can hang themselves with Chicken Entrails if you say it's a Picatta then it's a Picatta.

  5. This looks really good! I cannot wait for your book to come out! I just went and voted for you.

  6. Beautiful and sounds delicious. Good luck!

  7. yum never used peaches in a savory dish like this before!

  8. Amanda: Neither have I...the Foodie Fights definiely makes you stretch :)

  9. Wow that is very impressive looking, I bet it was delicious!!

  10. What a great tutorial!! And such beautiful photos!!

  11. Fantastic, a beautiful photo and delicious looking dish. Followed you here from Tastestopping! I'll be bookmarking your blog, love the concept.


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