Piccata Pasta Salad

I have a cute riddle for you: What's better than pasta that can be made ahead of time, travels well, and begs to be eaten outside at a picnic or a BBQ? Nothing. The answer is absolutely nothing is better than that, especially during the summer!


This Piccata Pasta Salad takes one of my favorite Italian specialties, Chicken Piccata, and transforms it into a delightfully tangy and refreshing pasta salad. Crispy little filets of chicken, caramelized lemon slices, and everyone's favorite pasta orecchiette are bathed and tossed in a creamy white wine, lemon, and caper vinaigrette. Add in a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley and some perfectly tart and citrusy sorrel, and it *almost* reads like an actual salad (but, like, way better and with more carbs).

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:


½ cup plus 6 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup all-purpose flour*

1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt

12 oz box of orecchiette

3 lemons

1 lb boneless chicken tenders**

1 cup roughly chopped parsley

2 cups sorrel

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons capers

2 tablespoons caper juice

3 cloves grated or finely minced garlic

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


*Gluten-Free flours can be substituted

**Recipe can be made without chicken and will still be completely delicious


WHAT YOU'LL DO:


Literally stop what you're doing and cook your orecchiette in a pot of well-salted water until al dente. Drain and spread out on a sheet pan and set aside to cool.


Now, let's get a little sour. Thinly slice two whole lemons into rounds, then remove seeds and halve each round. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add halved lemon slices. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until lemon slices are brown and caramelized, about 10-12 minutes.


While your lemons get tan, slice your chicken tenders into quarter-inch thick pieces. Place half a cup of all-purpose flour and one teaspoon kosher salt on a plate or tray and combine. Toss chicken tender pieces in the flour and salt mixture, fully coating the chicken.


Remove your newly bronzed lemons from the pan and set aside. Place two more tablespoons of olive oil in the pan that you cooked the lemons in and bring to medium heat. Cook breaded chicken pieces in the pan until browned on both sides, flipping them halfway through, about 5 minutes. You may need to cook chicken in two batches, so you don’t overcrowd the pan (we love a party, but smaller parties are way more intimate and give everyone the proper amount of attention). Place cooked chicken on a pan or tray to cool. Don’t forget to grab all the crispy bits on the bottom of the pan—they're the best part!


Now let’s make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons capers, 2 teaspoons caper juice, 3 cloves grated or finely minced garlic, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.


In a large bowl, bring your piccata to life! Add the pasta, chicken, and lemons, 1 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley, and 2 cups sorrel. Top it all with dressing and stir to combine. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking. Once you're satisfied, place pasta salad in the refrigerator, letting it cool for at least a few hours if not overnight.


Before serving, toss salad to redistribute the dressing. Serve cold and enjoy!


Make it step-by-step with me below!

1. Cook orecchiette in a pot of well-salted water until al dente. Drain and spread out on a sheet pan to cool. Set aside.

2. Thinly slice two whole lemons into rounds, then remove seeds and halve each round.

3. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add halved lemon slices. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until lemon slices are brown and caramelized, about 10-12 Minutes.

4. While your lemons cook, slice your chicken tenders into quarter-inch thick pieces. Place half a cup of all-purpose flour and one teaspoon kosher salt on a plate or tray and combine.

5. Toss chicken tender pieces in the flour and salt mixture to fully coat the chicken.

6. Remove lemons from the pan and set aside. Place two more tablespoons of olive oil in the pan that you cooked the lemons in and bring to medium heat.

7. Cook breaded chicken pieces in the pan until browned on both sides, flipping it halfway through, about 5 minutes. You may need to cook chicken in two batches, so you don’t overcrowd the pan.

8. Place cooked chicken on a pan or tray to cool. Don’t forget to grab all the crispy bits on the bottom of the pan!

9. Now let’s make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons capers, 2 teaspoons caper juice, 3 cloves grated or finely minced garlic, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.

10. In a large bowl add pasta, chicken, lemons, 1 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley, and 2 cups sorrel.

11. Top it all with dressing and stir to combine.

12. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking. Place pasta salad in the refrigerator, letting it cool for at least a few hours if not overnight.

13. Before serving, toss salad to redistribute the dressing. Serve cold and enjoy!

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