Season Like You Mean It!
Chicken Picatta is one of my Signature dishes. It’s also one of my favorites, which is why after years of ordering it in restaurants, I decided to master the dish for myself. After a couple of years spent working to refine my recipe, I was finally able to include it in my list of Signature recipes.
There’s nothing terribly complicated about making Picatta. The technique is simple, as is the list of ingredients. Almost every Picatta I’ve ever eaten has included (aside from the chicken, of course): olive oil, lemons, capers, garlic, white wine, butter, salt, and pepper. Sometimes a chef adds special ingredients (I like to add artichoke) or seasonings of their own to enhance the flavor and put their own signature on the dish. But for the most part, the perfect dish is the one in which the chef has created a perfect harmony of the flavors. When that happens, the result is uniquely PICATTA!
I’ve ordered Picatta dozens (maybe even hundreds) of times in some great restaurants around the world. Aside from Bolognese, it’s the first thing I look for in any Italian restaurant. With its simple list of ingredients, it never ceases to amaze me how much difference there can be from one Picatta to another. I’ve had some great ones – what I would call 5-Star – where the flavors have had that perfect balance I’m talking about. But I’ve also had my share of less-than-successful versions where one of the ingredients has taken over the entire dish. Usually it’s the olive oil, lemon, or garlic. When that happens, the result turns out to be more like Lemon Chicken or Garlic Chicken than Chicken Picatta!
As I see it, the problem in these unsuccessful versions is that the chef has not seasoned the Picatta properly, and as a result has not achieved the balance he or she is hoping for. Their solution is to add more of a particular ingredient to try to create a better balance. But in my experience, the balance could have been achieved by seasoning the dish properly.
In this case, my secret to seasoning properly is to use MorningStar Kitchen’s Lemon Grove seasoning. Lemon Grove is a perfectly balanced blend of herbs and spices (with a hint of lemon peel). When added to Picatta, it creates and enhances a perfect balance of flavors. It doesn’t take much – I usually use 1-1½ teaspoon. I’m confident that if you try it, the result will be an authentic and delicious Picatta. It may become one of your Signature dishes. And it surely will have your guests clamoring for more!
For our Chicken Picatta recipe or Lemon Grove Seasoning, visit us online at www.morningstarkitchen.com.