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 30 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
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 even though 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:
- Add sautéed garlic, mushrooms or onion, or a combination.
- Use half chicken stock and half dry white wine.
- Substitute Romano or Asiago for the Parmesan.
- Go all out on the variations and try Chicken Piccata Pasta or Sole Piccata.
What to Serve With Chicken Piccata
Chicken piccata is often served with pasta or a grain like rice to soak up the delicious sauce. If you're planning to serve it this way, we recommend doubling the sauce ingredients.
Whether you're pairing it with pasta or serving it low-carb style, these side dishes help turn the dish into a meal:
- Green Beans With Shallots and Pancetta
- Roasted Baby Carrots
- Sautéed Asparagus With Morels
- Broccoli Rabe With Caramelized Onions
- Peperonata (Sautéed Peppers and Onions)
If you’re planning to serve chicken piccata over pasta or a grain (or just like it extra saucy), double the sauce 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 finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup 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, drained
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whisk in the remaining butter:
Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
Plate the chicken and serve with the sauce poured over the chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 33g||42%|
|Saturated Fat 12g||58%|
|Total Carbohydrate 14g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 6mg||30%|
|*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.|