Nothing quite screams Summer like a bright and zesty plate of chicken piccata! This is a classic dish beloved by many, and our take on it will no doubt be your favorite. You can whip this up in about 30 to 45 minutes, making it a great weeknight meal and perfect for a lazy cooking day. Serve this up with some asiago cheese bread and have a Dantastic meal!
Our story begins not with a story, but with some linguistics! Piccata is an Italian word that means several different things depending on context, but for this we’ll say it translates to larded. Piccata itself happens to be a translation for the French word Pique. Pique means sharp, which in our context, means pleasantly appetizing. Outside of our translation from French to Italian to English, when we use Piccata in reference to food, we mean sliced and sauteed in a sauce containing lemon, butter, and spices. Still following? Good, now you may think that chicken piccata is a rather classic Italian dish but it’s actually believed to have come from America.
You see America’s Italian immigrant population bloomed during the 1930s, and it was on American shores that chicken piccata would first make its appearance. There’s a few reasons for this, but our first reason pertains to meat. Chicken and veal were expensive in Italy, and it was an expense most Italians couldn’t afford. But in America, that was a different story. While chicken still retained a high price in America, veal was a rather cheap cut of meat (That's the stuff of dreams). This meant veal was fairly popular with the working class and immigrants at the time. While we can’t trace the dish back to a specific immigrant but we assume it came from an Sicilian immigrant due to the use of veal, and the dish’s bright, tart, and zesty ingredients. To clarify, while lemon, white wine, capers, shallots, and garlic were common in Italian kitchens, it was the addition of veal or chicken that made this dish Italian American.