Believe it or not, this classic dish is actually easy to make and ready in less than 20-minutes! Make restaurant-quality Chicken Piccata in your own kitchen with just a few ingredients...
The term "piccata" actually refers to the lemon, butter, caper sauce. You've seen variations on Italian restaurant menus such as veal piccata, where the veal is thinly sliced and sauteed in piccata sauce--same concept here, but with poultry. If you don't care to add white wine to the piccata sauce, no problem!
Why you'll love this recipe:
- Quick and easy - cooking time is about 5-minutes per breast
- Great flavor and texture - the flour coating isn't thick or overbearing...just right!
- Easy lemon piccata sauce
- Cost-efficient - one breast, cut in half makes two servings
Here's what you'll need:
This recipe is simple and uses simple ingredients: chicken breasts, flour, lemon, butter, capers, salt/pepper and white wine (optional.) Because chicken breasts are so large these days, I usually allow one breast per two people.
This recipe is actually a pretty quick dinner! You can buy a large breast and slice it in half lengthwise or use thin sliced cutlets from your butcher. Note: this recipe does not call for an egg and flour dredge...just a light coat of seasoned flour works!
Slice breast in half lengthwise; melt butter and oil in large skillet
Pound with a meat cleaver until it is 1/4 inch thick; lightly salt and pepper
Dredge in flour...
Heat oil and butter to 316ºF; place coated breast in skillet; allow to cook 3-5 minutes on both sides (internal temperature of 165ºF)
Cook on 3-minutes before flipping...
The oil temperature should be around 310-316ºF. If you're chicken breast is really thin, it will cook to an internal temperature of 165ºF at about 3-minutes on each side. Thicker cutlets might take 5-minutes on each side.
Use tongs and lift the edge to see if it's browning, but don't move it for at least 3 minutes, otherwise, you run the risk of losing the flour coating.
Wine is optional - type of wine
The best wine to use for piccata sauce is a good, dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Chardonnay. Definitely use a good wine (one that you'd drink)! Wine is optional, but it does add a bit of flavor.
This easy lemon chicken piccata dish pairs well with pasta, rice, potatoes and something green...broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts or a Caesar salad.
To reheat, set oven to 325-350ºF and place cutlet on baking dish; bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
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Easy Lemon Chicken Piccata
- 1 large chicken breast skin-off; hand trimmed; cut in half lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons oil not olive oil; canola, vegetable, peanut or grapeseed (see notes)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons salt divided (1 tsp. for breasts; 1 tsp. for flour)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper divided (½tsp. for breasts; ½ tsp. for flour)
Lemon Sauce Ingredients
- ¼-½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons or 4-6 small lemons)
- 2 sticks butter
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons capers drained
- 3/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
- Pat dry with paper towel
- Slice in half lengthwise
- Pound breasts to 1/4 inch thick
- Lightly season breast halves with salt and pepper
- Place flour and remaining salt and pepper in a shallow bowl; combine well
- Using tongs, dredge each breast through the flour, coating thoroughly
- Preheat oven to 250ºF (do this if you are cooking the chicken in batches; keeps them warm while you're making the sauce) (see notes)
- In a heavy bottom skillet on medium to medium-high heat, add oil and 4 tablespoons of butter
- Bring oil/butter mixture to a temperature around 310-316ºF
- Place flour coated breast in hot skillet; allow to cook for 3 minutes (lift the edge of the breast after about 3 minutes to see if the center is browning; if not, continue to cook another 2 minutes) (see notes)
- Turn the breast half over and cook an additional 3 - 5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF
- Remove from skillet and place in warm oven, uncovered
Make the Sauce
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter
- Whisk in cornstarch and allow to cook for 1 minute; add lemon juice, wine (optional) and drained capers; taste for salt
- Plate chicken breasts and drizzle piccata sauce over the top
- If you're making more than two servings, you may need to add additional oil and butter in between each batch; if so, allow it to reach a high temperature before placing the next coated breast in the skillet.
- Everytime you add more butter/oil, the breast coating turns out darker than the first. If this makes you crazy, replace all the oil/butter between each batch.
- If you find your first breast is browning too fast, but it's not reaching an internal temperature of 165ºF, turn the heat down a little.
- The oil temperature should be around 310-316ºF. If you're chicken breast is really thin, it will cook to an internal temperature of 165ºF at about 3 minutes on each side. Thicker cutlets might take 5 minutes on each side.
- Use tongs and lift the edge to see if it's browning, but don't move it for at least 3 minutes, otherwise, you run the risk of losing the flour coating.