Chicken Piccata

Sometimes it amazes me how a simple combination of basic, on-hand ingredients can yield such delightful results. Chicken piccata is nothing more than chicken breast cutlets, dredged in flour, browned, and served with a sauce of butter, lemon juice, capers, and either stock or white wine.

It can be prepared in 20 minutes or less and is so easy and delicious it should be part of every home cook’s repertoire. It’s perfect for a quick midweek meal!

Updated from the recipe archive, first posted 2008.

Chicken Piccata Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 pound total), or 4-8 chicken cutlets
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or dry white wine (such as a Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brined capers
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley


1 To make chicken cutlets, slice the chicken breast halves horizontally, butterflying them open. If the breast pieces you are working with are large, you may want to cut them each into two pieces. If the pieces are still thick after butterflying, put them between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them with a meat hammer to 1/4-inch thickness.


2 Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan. Rinse the chicken pieces in water. Dredge them thoroughly in the flour mixture, until well coated.

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3 Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add half of the chicken pieces, do not crowd the pan. Brown well on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve to a plate. Cook the other breasts in the same manner, remove from pan. Place the breasts on a rack over a roasting pan and keep warm in a 225°F oven while you prepare the sauce.

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4 Add the chicken stock or white wine, lemon juice, and capers to the pan. Use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits. Reduce the sauce by half. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Plate the chicken and serve with the sauce poured over the chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.


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Chicken Piccata

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Showing 4 of 129 Comments

  • jonathan

    Chicken Piccata/Marsala/Francaise.

    The ‘Holy Trinity’ of quick Italian chicken dishes, and everyone should know them. A simple swap out of some on-hand ingredients yields something new and delicious each time.

    I’m of the school that says you should purchase regular (thicker) chicken breasts, and then pound them thin, if even just for a few whacks. The process always seems to tenderize the meat more. That, and stores generally charge an extra $1-$2/pound just to slice them thin. Compare pricing next time. If that’s not enough reason to do this simple step on your own, I don’t know what is.

    Bonus! If you’ve had a particularly bad day at work, visualize your boss/co-worker on the chicken. Makes the beating a little more satisfying.

  • Lulu

    Wonderful recipe. I do this regularly but add some grated lemon rind to the flour and parmesan and a little light cream to the sauce – delicious!

  • Elle

    This looks fantastic! And I always fillet chicken breasts for any dish I’m using them in. They cook faster so they don’t dry out. Makes a huge difference.

    I’m always amazed, too, that a few simple ingredients can be morphed into a fabulous meal.

  • TC

    Re: side dishes

    My Mom makes this all the time, it’s a family favorite. She serves it with green beans topped by simple marinara sauce, yum. Add a green salad and bread- no one leaves hungry.

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