Chicken thighs were brought up from the freezer to the fridge to thaw for supper. I went to my newly organized recipe notebook looking for a coffee marinade (I had a bit of leftover coffee from the morning) and came across a page I had saved from a 1991 Woman’s Day magazine on how to prepare chicken multiple ways using a basic starter of chicken thighs or breasts. Add a different sauce and different vegetables and you have different dinners all week. I looked at it pretty thoroughly and found that I had all the ingredients for “chicken picante with green beans“. Even the white wine. Reading through the recipe I had the unique thought that I could actually follow this recipe exactly. Well, not exactly exactly. I would use fresh green beans instead of frozen, and I had a few mini orange peppers instead of a red bell pepper. It seemed exact enough to me!
This handy dandy recipe chart has four parts to each dish: the chicken, the vegetables, the liquid, and the finishing touch.
The first is of course the chicken. One trims the visible fat (I do a half-hearted effort at this) and coat the pieces with seasoned bread crumbs. Well, I have a package of Panko bread crumbs and that will have to do. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 pounds of chicken parts. I have thawed a 3 pound package so that will have to do as well. I’ll plan for leftovers this way. I put my breadcrumbs in a ziploc bag to toss with the chicken, one piece at a time.
- 6 large chicken thighs, thawed. These could have the skins removed for a more calorie conscious meal.
- 4 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons canola oil for the skillet
Heat the oil in a large skillet with sides and cook the crumb coated chicken pieces for about 6-8 minutes, turning once.
Meanwhile prepare the vegetables:
- 4 mini peppers or a red bell pepper, diced (any pepper or combination of colorful peppers would work here, red, orange or yellow will provide a nice contrast to the green beans)
- fresh green beans, trimmed, about a pound (or 10 ounces frozen green beans)
Prepare the liquid:
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon drained capers
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
When the chicken is nicely browned, add the vegetables and the liquid to the pan, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
The finishing touch is to sprinkle with Romano cheese.
I make a bowl of couscous to serve with this. I set the table and wait for hubby to arrive. I remove the chicken and vegetables to platter and plates. I sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of flour into the sauce in the pan and bring it to a boil to thicken. This takes just a few minutes. We sit down to a nice meal (after saying the blessing). We are having a nice conversation sitting at the table for our meal when he informs me this is a Piccata, not a picante, when I tell him about the recipe. A piccata is a white wine sauce with capers. Hubby used to work in high end restaurants and has hobnobbed with real chefs so he should know. Oh, I’m sure I have had this dish at restaurants before but did not connect the ingredients in this recipe to the misnomer by the magazine.
I wonder if it was just an oversight by the food editor? I know of Picante as a Mexican hot sauce. I was just going by the name given by the Woman’s Day magazine people. Points scored by hubby for his culinary knowledge. I am not surprised. This is the man who lent me his copy of Gastronomique and The Professional Chef when we started dating! He used to quiz me on the Five Mother Sauces! I guessed at them; I’m just a home cook raised in the Midwest. I just make gravy!
Can you name the Five Mother Sauces?