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Piccata is an Italian word, the feminine form of the word piccato, meaning “larded”. It is also spelled picatta or pichotta. It is a translation of the French piqué, participle of piquer. When used in reference to a way of preparing food, particularly meat or fish, it means “sliced, sautéed, and served in a sauce containing lemon, butter and spices”.
Traditionally, the Italians use veal (veal piccata), however the best known dish of this sort in the US uses chicken (chicken piccata). The recipe has a meatless adaptation using seitan (seitan piccata).
A chicken breast is butterflied or sliced along its width. It is flattened with a tenderizer between two pieces of wax paper. It is seasoned and dredged in flour before being browned in butter or olive oil. The sauce is made using the pan drippings. Lemon juice and white wine are added and reduced. Shallots or garlic can be added with capers and slices of lemon. After reduction, butter is stirred in to finish the sauce.