On the other hand, if it's made without the slightest of care — and the chicken is not treated properly — then you have a tough, rubbery dish that's either spiked with too much seasoning or as bland as eating sliced white sandwich bread.
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As for the lemon, I prefer fresh lemon juice to the bottled variety.
If you wish to change up the recipe, substitute Marsala wine for the lemon juice and sauté 1/2 pound of button or cremini mushrooms in the pan before deglazing with the Marsala wine.
— Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Chef Ambassador to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
10 4-ounce chicken breasts
Flour, for dredging
3 ounces grapeseed oil
4 ounces lemon juice
10 ounces chicken stock
2 ounces butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 lemon, sliced into 10 wedges
Trim the chicken breasts, removing fat and waste.
Lightly flatten with a sauté pan or meat mallet under a few layers of plastic wrap. Do not pound too hard or you will shred and tear the meat. Set each breast aside after pounding to a uniform thickness.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge it in flour, shaking off any excess. This step should be done right before cooking.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan until very hot, but not smoking. Add in the chicken, making sure not to crowd the pan. Saute over high heat until chicken is lightly browned on both sides.
If your pan is not large enough, sauté the chicken in batches, making sure that the chicken is completely cooked through.
Remove the meat from the pan, and set aside on a platter, and drain off the excess oil.
Add the lemon juice to the pan and deglaze the pan; add the stock and reduce over high heat till 1/2 of the total fluid remains.
Add in the pieces of butter and stir in till melted and blended with the sauce.
Add the chicken to the pan and bring to a simmer, turning the meat to coat with sauce.
Serve immediately, 2 pieces per portion, garnished with a lemon wedge and chopped parsley.