This is the most-ordered dish at Bottega Café—it’s just the right combination of crisp, golden crust and juicy, moist chicken. We serve it on Creamy Polenta (page 206) with a little salad of tender lettuces, and the acidic tartness of capers and the lemon sauce brings it all together. The chicken can be breaded well in advance: place on a small parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to cook. Be sure to dust off excess flour before dipping the chicken into the egg to make a lighter breading. And pay attention to the bread crumbs—not too fine, not too coarse, but a good mix of irregular sizes.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, preferably from naturally raised chicken, rinsed and patted dry
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup Bread Crumbs
- 2 tablespoons olive, canola, or grapeseed oil
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ½ cup sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 dried red chile pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Set out three shallow plates in assembly-line fashion. Put the flour in one, the beaten eggs in the next, and the bread crumbs in the third. Dredge each seasoned chicken breast in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip in the eggs, and finally press them into the bread crumbs to coat thoroughly on both sides. Set the breaded chicken on a plate.
Heat a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add the oil. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides until golden, about 3 minutes per side; regulate the heat as necessary to achieve a uniformly browned crust.
Transfer the pan to the oven and cook the chicken until cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a rack to rest briefly.
Meanwhile, combine the wine, vinegar, shallot, chile, and bay leaf in a saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until the pan is almost dry. Add the cream and simmer until it reduces to about a teaspoon. Whisk in the butter little by little over medium-low heat until the sauce is creamy and emulsified. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and the juice of the lemon half.
Slice the chicken on the bias and arrange on serving plates. Spoon the sauce over the cop and garnish with the diced tomatoes and capers.
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving, but does not include Bread Crumbs. For nutritional information on Bread Crumbs, please follow the link above.