ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Turkey Piccata” from, I think, Alton Brown’s first Good Eats cookbook*
TIMING: 1/2 hour
DIFFICULTY: Fairly easy
TOOLS: A heat-proof platter and a wide skillet. Spring-loaded tongs would also be ideal. Meat mallet would also be handy
COOK TYPE: Stovetop and warming in the oven
HEALTH: Turkey is a nice, lean protein. Pair it with a veggie (or two) and a grain and you have got yourself an A+ dinner. I thought turkey piccata begged for pasta, but remember that you want to limit your pasta intake. (I like to shoot for only once per week, especially since I tend to overindulge). Also, if you go with pasta, only make enough for each person in the family to have a sane portion and really fill up those bellies with the protein and veggies. Otherwise, explore your other grain/starch options, like rice, bread, or even potatoes.
EXPERIENCE: With a husband whose favorite meat is turkey and a daughter who hates chicken, I have been on a quest for more and more ways to prepare turkey. This week, when I plugged it into the spreadsheet, up popped Alton Brown’s turkey piccatta. I think I’ve had a taste of something piccata at an Italian restaurant before, and despite a rather too-gelatinous sauce, it was pretty good and very integrative (read: not weird).
It turned out delicious. In fact, there is almost nothing I could say against it. It didn’t take a long time. It wasn’t hard. It’s not deep fried or sugary. And–despite that my daughter said it tasted almost too much like chicken–everyone liked it and ate their portions.
NOTES: The original recipe called for turkey breasts, cut hamburger-bun-style into two large pieces. I just used the turkey cutlets that my store had at the meat counter.
You can use 1/4 onion instead of the shallots, in a pinch.
- Preheat the oven to 200F.
- Put 1/2 cup all purpose or whole wheat flour (or a mixture) in a deep plate. Set to the side.
- On a cutting board, place one piece of 1 pound turkey cutlets and cover over top, loosely, with plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or a heavy-bottomed pan to beat the turkey until about 1/4 inch thick. Salt and pepper and set on the floured plate and repeat until all turkey is floured, both sides.
- Heat a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 4 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil. When hot, shake off a piece of turkey and add it to the pan. Add more, but do not overcrowd. Cook 1 minute, flip, and cook 1 more minute. Both sides should be a nice brown.
- Remove turkey to a heat-proof platter and continue until all turkey is done. Set platter in the oven and move ahead quickly.
- Reduce heat to medium and add 2 finely-chopped shallots to your skillet. Stir until they become transluscent.
- Add 1/2 cup white wine and the juice of 2-3 lemons. Simmer about 2 minutes, until somewhat reduced.
- Remove from heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons butter and taste for salt and pepper.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and top with a couple tablespoons chopped parsley.
Serve with a seasonal vegetable or two and a small side of pasta tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and Parmesan.
*Recipe changed from the original.