Seitan Piccata Remix

When I was learning how to cook, I learned about 4 variations of Italian-style chicken, one of which being piccata. Piccata is just a simple...

When I was learning how to cook, I learned about 4 variations of Italian-style chicken, one of which being piccata. Piccata is just a simple preparation of any protein really, that includes wine, garlic, capers and lemon. I've had it all different ways with different proteins, even chickpea piccata, many times over. I've seen seitan piccata on menus of fancy vegetarian restaurants with $30 minimum per person regulations that I've never been able to afford. But piccata is so easy, why couldn't I just make it at home? I made extra seitan from tamale day with this in mind, so it was super easy to make on a weeknight.

Most of the time, piccata proteins are dredged in flour and fried. I certainly don't skip either of these steps, but lightly flour with an herb mix and pan fry in only a couple tablespoons of oil. You could use less if you want. All you need is enough to get color on the cutlets.  I served it over mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus and zucchini, and after realizing I had broccoli to use up in the fridge, blanched that up too and threw it in the pot with the sauce. A lot of food, but how convincing is a teeny tiny plate of hearty Italian food? Be real, nobody is buying that this vegan version is as good as chicken or veal piccata from any Italian restaurant down the street, if you don't make a plate like an Italian grandmother would make for her first-born grandson. Clean your plates, and don't fill up on the bread. This looks pretty fancy, I'll admit, but it's super easy. Observe.

2 cutlets of seitan, your favorite preparation.
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow or white onion sliced into half-moons
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
1/3 cup veggie stock
6-7 artichoke hearts, chopped in half or quartered.
1 tablespoon capers
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped.

1.Preheat a large cast-iron skillet with the olive oil.
2. Combine flour, herbs, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Mix with hands and dredge seitan cutlets thoroughly. Reserve a few tablespoons of herb flour. Later you will use this to thicken sauce. Shake cutlets a little, to remove excess flour. Add to hot pan and let brown for 3-4 minutes. Then flip and brown other side about 2-3 minutes.
3. Once golden brown, remove cutlets from pan and transfer to a plate. In the same hot pan, sautee onion over medium high heat until browned and onions have collected all the brown floury bits from the pan, about 6 minutes. If onion is not browning, increase heat and keep close watch on pan. Add garlic and sautee about 1 minute until fragrant. Add wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Add capers, artichokes and lemon juice. Stir and let wine reduce by 1/3.
4. Sprinkle in a little of the reserved herb flour and stir until the sauce reaches desired thickness. Cook 1 more minute, then taste for salt and pepper.
5. Add cutlets back to pan, spooning the sauce over the top of them. Pour veggie stock over the cutlets and let simmer about 4 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsely and serve.

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  1. We need to get you a show on the FOOD Network girl!