Chicken Piccata and Chocolate Cake Recipes

Chicken Piccata and Chocolate Cake Recipes

Here’s a mid-winter treat of recipes to help keep the winter doldrums at bay. The chicken piccata is a simple and quick tasty dish and is very easy to prepare. I’ve used this recipe with pork cutlets and with shrimp. They may be served with pasta, sautéed with olive oil and smashed, chopped garlic, or rice and frozen peas (thawed) with sautéed chopped onions on the side, or with vegetables. The asparagus with prosciutto works very well with this dish, also sautéed string beans. The herbed bread makes a delicious complement to the dinner. Of course, chocolate cake may be the most desired part of the meal.

Pre-cutting parchment paper for round cake pans and cookie sheets, then store in parchment paper box will save a lot of time when preparing pans.



Chicken Piccata

This dish cooks up quickly so have any side dishes ready to serve with the chicken.

Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded into cutlets

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

All-purpose flour

Nonstick vegetable spray

¼ cup canola oil

½ cup dry white wine

2 cloves garlic, minced then smashed

1 cup chicken broth

3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons capers, drained (Optional)

4 tablespoons butter

Fresh lemon slices

Fresh parsley, chopped

Season cutlets with salt and pepper. In a shallow pie dish put flour and dredge cutlets in it. In a skillet add oil, and heat over medium high.

Sauté cutlets for about 2-3 minutes on one side. Turn over and sauté the other side, covered, 2-3 minutes. Transfer cutlets to a warmed platter and pour off fat from the skillet.

Deglaze the skillet with white wine, add smashed garlic and stir scraping up cooking bits. Cook until garlic is slightly brown and liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add chicken broth, lemon juice, and capers. Return cutlets to skillet and cook on each side for 1-minute. Transfer cutlets to warm plates.

Add butter to the sauce in the skillet, layer lemon slices over melting butter and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Pour sauce over cutlets with lemon slices. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.


Prosciutto-wrapped roasted asparagus

Serves 4 to 6.

12 trimmed asparagus spears

¼ cup boiling water

4 ounces or 6 slices prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place trimmed asparagus spears in boiling water in a large roasting pan covered with foil. In a preheated 400 degree oven, steam asparagus until tender about 10-15 minutes, transfer asparagus to paper towels to drain. Wipe roasting pan dry.

Assemble 6 slices of prosciutto, each cut in half lengthwise, making 12 slices. On a sheet of waxed paper place one thin strip of prosciutto and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, roll prosciutto with Parmesan cheese on the inside, around asparagus spear, overlapping to cover the entire spear. Place in roasting pan. Repeat with remaining asparagus, prosciutto, and Parmesan. Roast in a 400 degree oven until asparagus is heated through and prosciutto just begins to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Serve hot.


Herbed Garlic Bread

1 loaf Italian bread, cut in half lengthwise

3 tablespoons EVOO, olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, minced then smashed

1 teaspoon dried sweet basil crushed

¼ teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes, crushed

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay 2-halves of Italian bread on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Evenly drizzle or brush olive oil over both halves, sprinkle smashed garlic over halves.

In a cup mix together basil, oregano, parsley, and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle this mixture over bottom half of bread, evenly spread mozzarella cheese over this. Place top half on top, wrap with foil and bake for 10-12 minutes, open top of foil and bake another 5-7 minutes to lightly brown and toast. Remove from oven and slice, serve hot.


Chocolate Almond Cake

Make 2 8-inch layers

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

Pinch of salt

2 cups hot water

2/3 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the center. Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper sprayed with vegetable spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl whisk together water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee, vanilla, and almond extract. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined – do not over mix or the cake will be tough.

Divide batter between cake pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Cool cakes on a rack for 15 minutes, then turn out cakes face down and cool on rack. Leave cakes upside down so the cake tops become flattened, cool completely then frost.


Chocolate Frosting

¼ cup margarine, melted

Pinch of salt

½ cup cocoa

1/3 cup evaporated milk – add more milk by drops if needed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 box confectioners’ sugar

1/3 to ½ cup raspberry jam (Optional)

In a bowl whisk together all ingredients, except jam, combining well. Spread frosting on bottom cooled cake and spread raspberry jam across the top of frosting leaving half inch edge around outer edge. Place top layer over this and frost top and sides of cake.


Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.