10 December 2007

Chicken Piccata & Presto Pasta Nights

With the busy holiday season upon us it is nice to have quick and easy recipes to prepare for those weeknight dinners. As the years move on I make fewer and fewer "figure-altering" sweets for the holiday season. I have a few tried and true, quick and easy sweets that I always make..a must is shortbread. Sometimes I make Chocolate Chunk Shortbread and sometimes my brothers recipe (that will come in a later post).
In the mean time meals need to be quick, easy, flavourful and nutritious! This is my submission for this weeks Presto Pasta Nights put on by the industrious and talented Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast. What marries the chicken and the pasta together is the addition of a lemon/caper sauce over all. The ingredients are fresh and reminiscent of warm summer days!!

**Chicken Piccata**

Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
1 cup (1/4-inch) strips red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
3/4 cup thinly sliced onion (about 1/2 large onion)
1 1/2 cups matchstick-cut zucchini (about 1 medium)
1 1/4 cups matchstick-cut yellow squash (about 1 medium)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved object
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces uncooked whole wheat blend spaghetti
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 -1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 tablespoon butter

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add bell pepper and onion; sauté 8 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown. Place onion mixture in a large bowl; keep warm. Return pan to medium-high heat. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add zucchini and yellow squash; sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add tomatoes and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add squash mixture to reserved onion mixture. Keep warm.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Add pasta and reserved cooking liquid to vegetable mixture, stirring to combine. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and basil; toss to combine. Keep warm.

Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge chicken in flour, turning to coat; shake off excess flour.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add olive oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add chicken, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.

Add broth, juice, and capers to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add green onions, butter, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; stir until butter melts.

Arrange about 1 cup pasta mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 chicken breast half, 1/4 cup sauce, and 1 tablespoon remaining cheese. Serve immediately.

 4 servings
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  1. I absolutely love chicken piccata, it's such a great way to dress up chicken - yours looks great!


  2. Good post Val, noted for a future dinner. I like the use of capers in this.

  3. Yeah, you are right about trying to eat well and healthy during these days... when the 24th arrives it's a nonstopeating until the 6th of January...
    Your Chicken Piccata looks gourgeous!!! Salud!

  4. This looks really good. With chicken, lots of vegetables, pasta lemons and capers it sounds really tasty. I have been looking for more ways to incorporate capers in my meals.

  5. I love chicken piccata!!

  6. I'm with everyone else...I love chicken piccata and this way sounds perfect. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  7. This sounds interesting to make. Looks great too!


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