Chicken Piccata

This easy chicken piccata recipe takes just 20 minutes to make! Chicken breast cutlets are dredged in flour, browned, and served with a sauce of butter, lemon juice, capers, and stock or wine.

Chicken Piccata
Elise Bauer

Sometimes it amazes me how a simple combination of basic, on-hand ingredients can yield such delightful results.

What is Chicken Piccata?

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!

How to Make Chicken Piccata

1:37

How to Make Chicken Piccata

Chicken piccata with capers on a plate
Elise Bauer

Chicken Piccata: An Italian Classic?

In Italian, piccata means pounded flat. The exact origin of the dish is unknown, although it certainly has its roots in Italian cooking. In Italy, it's more common to see veal piccata than chicken piccata, and there's a chance that the use of chicken in the dish is an Americanized version of the Italian veal dish. But, the flavors in this chicken dish are certainly Italian/Mediterranean—olive oil, wine, lemon, brined capers, Parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs.

Topping Variations to Try

Capers aren't everyone's cup of tea, so feel free to leave them out, although they do add a briny bite to the dish. Or, if you don't have capers but do have meaty green olives in the pantry, you can chop them small and add them to the dish. They'll give that briny bite.

Try these other chicken piccata variations, too.

  • Add sautéed mushrooms or onion, or both.
  • Use half chicken stock, half dry white wine.
  • Substitute fresh dill for fresh parsley.
  • Add garlic.
  • Substitute Romano, asiago, or dry Jack for the Parmesan.

Or, go all out on the variations and try Chicken Piccata Pasta or Sole Piccata.

What to Serve With Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata is a main dish that pleases almost everyone, but it needs sides, right? Try these.

More Italian Recipes to Make!

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Chicken Piccata

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds, skinless chicken breast halves, or 4 to 8 chicken cutlets

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock, or dry white wine (such as a Sauvignon Blanc)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup capers

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Method

  1. Prepare the chicken cutlets:

    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.

    chicken-piccata-method-a
    Elise Bauer

    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. Dredge the cutlets:

    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.

    chicken-piccata-method-2
    Elise Bauer
    chicken-piccata-method-3
    Elise Bauer
  3. Brown the cutlets:

    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.

    chicken-piccata-method-4
    Elise Bauer
    chicken-piccata-method-5
    Elise Bauer
  4. Add the stock (or wine), lemon juice, and capers:

    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.

    chicken-piccata-method-6
    Elise Bauer
  5. Whisk in the remaining butter:

    Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

  6. Serve immediately:

    Plate the chicken and serve with the sauce poured over the chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.

Chicken Piccata
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
566 Calories
31g Fat
28g Carbs
42g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 566
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 132mg 44%
Sodium 673mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 42g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 70mg 5%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 420mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.