Piccata Sauce Recipe for Grilled Veal, Chicken, or Pork
This is a simple Tuesday night sauce that produces Sunday night food. Originally from Italy and served on veal, it is well suited for chicken and pork chops. The classic piccata is a pan sauce made by searing the meat in a skillet, and deglazing the brown bits that stick to the bottom of the pan with wine, but the recipe is a snap to make on the grill. And for all the traditionalist chefs out there, I know my sauce is a bit heavier and richer than the textbook version, but I think it is needed to stand up to the big bold flavors of the grill.
Piccata is a classic Italian restaurant dish traditionally made with pricey veal. But many chefs have adapted it easily to chicken breasts or pork chops. This simple, yet full flavored, recipe for piccata sauce is perfect for taking virtually any grilled meat over the top at your next dinner party or backyard cookout.Make extra sauce and serve it over rice.
About the sherry. My recipe calls for sherry, a "fortified" wine that has had brandy added. An amontillado sherry, or oloroso sherry will work fine. Madeira, another fortified wine is also good, and bual Madiera is actually my fave. Fino sherry, sercial Madeira, and verdelho Madeira are dry and will work with 1/4 teaspoon of sugar.
About the dry white wine. I always have a jug of cheap dry white like Mondavi Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc or Yellow Tail Chardonnay around for guzzling and cooking. Occasionally I pick up old, oxidized whites in the closeout bin just for this kind of sauce. The aren't good drinking, but make fine cooking wines.
About the lemon juice. Be precise when measuring the lemon juice. A bit too much and it will make the veins in your neck pop out. Get a fresh lemon if you can.
Optional garnish. When you're done you can garnish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a thin slice of lemon.
Serve with. Make a little extra sauce and serve with a grain that will sop up the extra sauce and a simple veggie. Try brown rice, couscous, barley, or bulgur wheat with grilled asparagus or squash. A big dry white, like a California Chardonnay.
Prep. While the meat is grilling, you can make the sauce on a burner indoors or out. Assemble the salt, pepper, and flour in a bowl. In a measuring cup, combine the white wine, sherry, and lemon juice.
Build the sauce. In a frying pan melt the butter on low, then whisk in the flour mixture, turn the heat to over medium, and cook, stirring often, until all the flour is dissolved and starts to turn tan. Wait til it turns color, about 5 minutes. Turn off the flame so you don't have a flareup when you add the wine. Now add the wine mix, stir, and crank it to high. Cook the sauce, whisking every 2 minutes or so until it is slightly thick, but not syrupy thick. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of water.
Add capers. When the meat is done, add it and the capers to the sauce. Don't add the capers too early or they will disintegrate.
Serve. Spoon a pool of the sauce on each dinner plate, then lay the meat on top of the sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley. If there's extra sauce, put it on the rice, which is a natural piccata side dish.
Published On: 8/6/2014
Last Modified: 3/27/2021
Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.