On Valentine’s Day, I wanted to surprise my wife by cooking a romantic dinner at home. For the last several years we’ve gone out to eat at various restaurants and have been disappointed with the quality of the food and the price we had to pay for it.
Seeking ideas I hit the web and found a neat recipe for Chicken Piccata on my buddy JD’s blog Get Rich Slowly. He had an article entitled Recession Romance and shared some other neat ideas to celebrate V-Day without breaking the bank.
When it comes to new recipes, I’m a sucker for any Italian dish, so this recipe was right up my alley. The one slight change that I implemented was I wanted to make it a pasta dish so I added some thin spaghetti to the mix.
If you’re looking for a new tasty recipe, I encourage you to give it a try.
If you’re looking for a tasty shrimp pasta recipe, head over to Gen X Finance for a recipe I shared earlier. Without further ado, here are the step-by-step instructions as well as an idea of how much it is going to cost. Time to hit the kitchen to try out this chicken pasta recipe!
List of Ingredients and Cost of Chicken Pasta
- 4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, halved crosswise to make 8 small block-shaped pieces ($6.57)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- flour, for dredging
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chicken stock ($.89) (Preferably homemade chicken stock if you know how to make it)
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons) ($1.50)
- 1/4 cup jarred capers, drained & rinsed to remove some of the salt
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Thin Spaghetti ($1.39)
Most of the ingredients are already found in our cupboards, hence why I didn’t include those prices. The only additional purchase was a bagged Caesar Salad that cost $4.49.
With the salad included, the entire dinner cost me $14.84. That’s it! It’s the cheapest and probably the best V-Day meal I’ve ever had.
Chicken Piccata Pasta Directions
If you’re not a professional lemon squeezer (as I’m not), I suggest you buy a few extra lemons. Plus, if you’re using my pasta idea, you’ll need some more lemon juice for the sauce.
Preparing the Chicken
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken into the flour to get a decent layer around it.
In a large sauté pan, melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook just until browned, 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate. At this point in time, you can also start boiling the pasta. I chose thin spaghetti, but any pasta will do.
Cooking the Chicken
Add broth, lemon juice, and capers to the same pan. Here’s where you could add a bit more lemon juice and broth to make sure you have enough for the sauce for the pasta.
Bring broth to a boil over medium-high heat, scraping the pan to get all the good crusty bits. Return chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
Transfer chicken to plates or platters. Remove pan from heat. Add remaining 2-4 Tablespoons butter to the sauce, whisking to melt. This is where you want to make sure you have plenty of liquid for the sauce.
Since the original recipe that I got didn’t account for the pasta, I literally used every drop of the sauce from the pan.
Next time I’ll be sure to add the extra butter, oil, stock, and lemon juice to make sure I have enough.
Serving the Chicken Piccata Pasta
Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley. That’s it! It really is as simple as it looks. It has to be rather simple because even I pulled it. Doesn’t it look yummilicious?
Spouse Approval of the Chicken Pasta
The other true test was impressing the wife. Trying new recipes has the same level of excitement as apprehension, especially on Valentine’s Day. What was the final verdict? Take a look at the beautiful smile below. She loved it! Matter of fact, so did I.
I wasn’t sure about the lemon flavor since it’s not in my usual cooking arsenal, but the overall taste was fantastic. Just doing this post, makes me crave it all over again.
Give it a try and tell me your thoughts. Nothing like getting some feedback from the readers.