Kevin's parents came to visit last weekend, and I was in charge of Friday night's meal. Shortly after their arrival Kevin surprised them with the story of our recent engagement. Luckily they were thrilled! I'd cooked for my in-laws-to-be once before, but this time the stakes were high. The meal was to be consumed shortly after they learned I would become their daughter-in-law. So I put together a menu that I thought would be special and satisfying, with a little bit of "she'll be a good wife to my son" on the side. Mission accomplished!
Halve one lemon pole to pole. Trim ends from one half and cut crosswise into slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick; set aside. Juice remaining half and whole lemon to obtain 1/4 cup juice; reserve.
Sprinkle both sides of cutlets generously with salt and pepper. Measure flour into pie tin or shallow baking dish. Working one cutlet at a time, coat with flour, and shake to remove excess.
Heat heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes; add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl pan to coat. Lay half of chicken pieces in skillet. Sauté cutlets, without moving them, until lightly browned on first side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Turn cutlets and cook until second side is lightly browned, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and transfer cutlets to plate in warm oven, or cover with foil and place in microwave to keep warm. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to now-empty skillet and heat until shimmering. Add remaining chicken pieces and repeat.
Add shallot or garlic to now-empty skillet and return skillet to medium heat. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds for shallot or 10 seconds for garlic. Add stock and lemon slices, increase heat to high, and scrape skillet bottom with wooden spoon or spatula to loosen browned bits. Simmer until liquid reduces to about 1/3 cup, about 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and capers and simmer until sauce reduces again to 1/3 cup, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and swirl in butter until butter melts and thickens sauce; swirl in parsley. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately.
One loaf french bread
4 T. unsalted butter
4 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut loaf the long way and separate the two halves. Spread each with half of the butter and drizzle with the olive oil. Add one minced garlic clove to each bread half. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Place two halves together to reform loaf, and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil, slice and serve.