|The Hereford House has one great chicken dish -- this is it.|
To whet your appetite for The Pitch's annual Best of Kansas City issue, we're counting down our favorite Top 50 dishes each weekday until October 7.
When you think of restaurateur Rod Anderson's Hereford House restaurants -- best-known for juicy grilled steaks -- chicken isn't a dish that immediately comes to mind. There are three versions of the bird on the current menu: hickory-grilled (served with bearnaise or barbecue sauce), a grilled barbecue breast served with the St. Louis-style ribs, and the best choice of the trio: a succulent chicken Piccata.
The Italian word piccata is the femine form of piccato -- meaning larded. The traditional preparation calls for the dish -- chicken or veal -- to be sauteed in butter and covered in a light sauce made from the pan drippings, lemon juice and chopped parsley. The dish is believed to be a Northern Italian standard.
But every restaurant seems to put a different spin on it. Some use mushrooms; others add a little milk to the lemon-butter sauce. The Hereford House Piccata is one of the more flamboyant versions. A little more French and maybe a bit less lemony than the more simple variations on this dish, the Hereford House Piccata boasts two plump breasts that have been lightly dusted in flour, then pan-seared and drenched in a decadent bechamel blended with artichokes, fresh chopped tomatoes and tart capers.
It's a popular alternative to steak at the restaurants (and it's modestly priced, by this restaurant's standards). Go on, don't be chicken: Order it.
Our list so far:
No. 49: Il Parma from Bella Napoli
No. 42: Apple strudel from Grunauer
No. 40: E-Crush from Hi-Hat Coffee
No. 34: Stroud's cinnamon rolls
No. 33: Smoked Polish from Werner's
No. 27: Spring rolls from Vietnam Cafe