The Best Chicken Piccata Recipe
This quick and easy chicken piccata recipe is made in one pan with a delicious pan sauce of lemon juice, butter, capers and stock or wine (or a combination of both). It is amazing how a simple chicken breast can transform into what seems to be a high-end dining dinner. With ingredients most home cooks have on hand, this recipe makes an easy and delightful dinner that can be prepared quickly even for a weeknight dinner for a family. It also makes a delicious and dare I say romantic date night dinner, with a nice glass of Chardonnay and a side of pasta or rice and some veggies.
Chicken piccata, according to my research, originated in the United States in the 1930s by Italian immigrants. It was originally prepared with veal which was cheaper than chicken at that time in history. If you want to try a veal piccata recipe, I suggest this one
This chicken piccata can be ready in 20-30 minutes and is remarkably easy and so delicious that it will soon become part of your repertoire (if not, it should, in my opinion). It is easy for a beginner cook to tackle, but impressive enough for those experience cooks to make and put their own spin on (should they want to mess with perfection!).
In Italian, the word piccata literally means “pounded flat”, and although you could pound out the chicken breasts, I find that slicing them horizontally produces the same result with less effort. It’s all about making the dish as easy as possible while still producing and end result that is delicious.
Capers are sometimes not to everyone’s liking, so feel free to leave them out if that’s the case in your house. You will miss a bit of the briny bite they add, but that’s okay.
Although my recipe does not include garlic, feel free to add a minced clove or two to your sauce if you want that underlying garlic hit. As well, feel free to finish with some freshly grated parmesan and more black pepper if you like. It’s completely up to you.
The Best Chicken Picatta Recipe
- 1 large skillet
- 2 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless) butterflied and cut in half (to make 2 thin breasts)
- Salt and fresh black pepper, ground
- ½ cup All purpose flour for dredging
- 6 tbsp butter preferably unsalted, but salted will work
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup dry white wine OR chicken stock
- ¼ cup brined capers
- fresh parsley (optional) for garnish
- 1 lemon, sliced (if using) optional
- season breasts with salt and pepper then dredge in flour, shake off the excess
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add 4 Tbsp of butter and 4 Tbsp of evoo and once it starts to sizzle, add your chicken breasts and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Remove and put on a plate, set aside.
- If your skillet is not large enough to do all 4 breasts at one time, then do two at a time using half of the butter and olive oil each time.
- In the pan, add the wine and let it cook for a couple of minutes to cook off some of the alcohol. (if you are using chicken stock only, then you don't need to wait before proceeding to the next step)
- Add the lemon juice and the capers and stir, making sure to scrape all of the good bits from the bottom of the skillet into your sauce. Taste for seasoning. Adjust if necessary (salt and pepper)
- Add lemon slices (optional) for an extra burst of lemon.
- Return all of the chicken breasts back into the pan with the sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to your serving platter (or plates).
- Add remaining 2 Tbsp of butter to the sauce and whisk vigorously to emulsify.
- Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley, if using.