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Chicken/ Hearty Dinners

The Best Chicken Piccata

October 17, 2022 by Chris Collins

This Chicken Piccata is simply delicious and couldn’t be easier to make!

I’ve always felt like Chicken Piccata is one of those meals that looks kinda fancy. In fact, it tastes kinda fancy too. But honestly it’s beyond easy to make. Follow me…

overhead shot of chicken piccata served on small whit eplate with asparagus and rice

Chicken Piccata

For those who have never heard of Chicken Piccata, it’s essentially pan fried sliced chicken breasts in a lemon, butter and caper sauce. The dish originated in Italy, where I believe it’s more traditional to use veal. But it’s more classic in the US to use chicken (which is my preference).

Slicing the Chicken

For this recipe we’ll be using boneless skinless chicken breast. We’ll also be slicing each breast right through the centre to create 4 even-sized breasts. This will not only allow the chicken to cook quicker, but also more evenly too.

Dredging the Chicken

From there, you’ll want to lightly coat the chicken in seasoned flour. Coating the chicken in flour will give it a nice golden crust once it’s fried. This will in turn help absorb some of the sauce and help it cling to the chicken.

Process shots: bring chicken to room temp (photo 1), slice (photo 2), add to pan with oil and butter (photo 3), fry both sides until golden/cooked through the centre (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make chicken piccata

Chicken Piccata Sauce

The sauce for Chicken Piccata is very simple. It requires just a few ingredients to create a real zingy/punchy sauce. Here’s what you’ll need:

Chicken Piccata Sauce Ingredients

  • Shallots – These aren’t an overly traditional addition, but I love adding them. I find the touch of sweetness helps to balance out the sour flavour of the lemon. I recommend very finely dicing them. You don’t necessarily want the texture, just the flavour.
  • Capers – Now these certainly are a traditional ingredient, so don’t skip them. They offer that classic salty/briny flavour!
  • Chicken Stock – This creates the base of the sauce.
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice, not the bottled stuff!
  • Butter – I use unsalted butter, just to get more control over the seasoning of the whole dish. I also like to use butter straight out of the fridge. I find it thickens the sauce a little easier.

What consistency should the sauce be?

It’s a fairly light sauce. It’s more glossy than it is thick. You don’t need the chicken drowned in the sauce, it’s just there to lightly coat the chicken as it’s quite strong.

Process shots: fry shallot (photo 1), fry capers (photo 2), simmer lemon juice and chicken stock (photo 3), melt butter (photo 4), stir to melt/thicken (photo 5), coat chicken (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make chicken piccata sauce

Chicken Piccata FAQ

Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts?

You could use boneless/skinless chicken thighs, I just recommend pounding them until thin/even-thickness. They’ll also take a little longer to cook too.

How lemony is the sauce?

Recipes differ quite a lot in how much lemon juice is used, but I find around 1.5tbsp hits the sweet spot. It’s definitely prominent, but not too overpowering where the whole dish just becomes sour. You can of course adjust this to taste though.

Can I use white wine instead of stock?

A lot of recipes do use white wine, but I much prefer chicken stock. I find the wine, alongside the lemon juice, leaves the dish too acidic/sour. I find the stock offers more depth of flavour and adds a richness to the sauce.

overhead close up shot of chicken piccata in pan

Serving Chicken Piccata

Once you’ve coated the chicken in the sauce, serve up right away with fresh parsley! This dish is great with any form of potato (Roasted PotatoesMashed PotatoesDauphinoise Potatoes etc). You could also serve it with rice or pasta. Here I’ve served with seasoned rice and asparagus.

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this chicken piccata shall we?!

chicken piccata served on small white plate with rice, asparagus and lemon wedges

How to make Chicken Piccata (Full Recipe & Video)

chicken piccata served on small white plate with rice, asparagus and lemon wedges

The Best Chicken Piccata

This Chicken Piccata is simply delicious and couldn't be easier to make!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: American / Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories per serving: 306kcal
Cost per serving: £2 / $2.50

Equipment:

  • Large Pan & Tongs
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Shallow Dish (for dredging chicken)
  • Spatula (optional, for stirring butter)

Ingredients (check list):

Chicken

  • 2x 9oz/250g Chicken Breasts, brought close to room temp
  • 1/4 cup / 40g Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Garlic Powder, Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp EACH: Olive Oil, Unsalted Butter

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup / 120ml Chicken Stock
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter (keep in the fridge until needed)
  • 2 tbsp Capers in brine, drained
  • 1.5 tbsp Lemon Juice, or to taste (see notes)
  • 1 tbsp finely diced Fresh Parsley, to serve
  • 1 Shallot, very finely diced
  • Salt & Pepper, as needed

Instructions:

  • Slice each chicken breast horizontally through the centre to create 4 even-sized breasts.
  • In a large shallow dish combine 1/4 cup flour with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 garlic powder & black pepper. One by one dredge each breast through the flour to fully coat, shake off excess then place to one side.
  • Heat up 1 tbsp oil and butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and fry both sides for a few mins, or until golden on the outside and just about cooked through the centre. Remove and place chicken to one side.
  • Lower heat slightly to medium and add the shallot. Fry for a couple of mins until soft & golden, then add in capers and fry for 1 min. Pour in chicken stock & lemon juice and simmer for a few mins until it reduces by nearly half.
  • Turn heat to low and add in 3 tbsp cold butter. Swiftly stir until the butter melts (I find this easiest with a spatula). Continue stirring until it turns a cloudy lemon colour and thickens slightly to a glossy texture. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  • Stir in any resting juices from the chicken, then add in the chicken in. Flip the chicken to coat, then pour over some of the sauce. Sprinkle with parsley, then serve up the chicken with more sauce spooned over the top. Enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Butter - I prefer using unsalted butter because it gives you more control over the seasoning. If you've only got salted, that's fine, just go easy when adjusting the salt at the end. In all cases, I recommend using butter straight from the fridge, as it thickens the sauce a little easier.
b) Lemon - Some recipes use as much as 1/3 cup of lemon juice, but I find this way too much. This is a lemon-based sauce, so it should be prominent, and I find around 1.5 tbsp hits the sweet spot (half a large lemon or most of a small/regular lemon). You can of course add more lemon juice in if you'd prefer. I recommend doing this when you check for seasoning.
c) Capers - These are a key ingredient in chicken piccata, so definitely do not skip them. They add a classic briny flavour that is difficult to replicate with different ingredients. I always use capers in brine, the dry/salted ones are way too salty for this recipe.
d) Serving - Great with any form of Potato (Roasted Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Dauphinoise Potatoes etc). You could also serve it with rice or pasta. Here I've served with seasoned rice and asparagus.
e) Calories - Assuming half of the flour/seasoning attaches to the chicken. Based on whole recipe divided by 4 with no sides.

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
The Best Chicken Piccata
Amount Per Serving
Calories 306 Calories from Fat 164
% Daily Value*
Fat 18.27g28%
Saturated Fat 8.485g42%
Trans Fat 0.476g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.354g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.317g
Cholesterol 122mg41%
Sodium 450mg19%
Potassium 453mg13%
Carbohydrates 5.41g2%
Fiber 0.5g2%
Sugar 0.58g1%
Protein 29.04g58%
Vitamin A 393IU8%
Vitamin C 2.8mg3%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 0.87mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

For another easy chicken breast recipe check out my Garlic Butter Chicken!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  • Reply
    Nikki
    August 28, 2023 at 3:24 am

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! Do you use salted or unsalted chicken stock?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 29, 2023 at 2:28 pm

      Hey Nikki! I use regular salted chicken stock 🙂 C.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    June 11, 2023 at 11:50 pm

    5 stars
    Delicious! This recipe is significantly easier than others I have tried and with less dishes. I doubled the sauce portion, but otherwise followed the recipe and am extremely happy with the outcome. Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      June 12, 2023 at 11:21 am

      So great to hear, Jessica! Thanks so much for the lovely review! C.

  • Reply
    John
    October 29, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    5 stars
    This is the best version of Chicken Piccata I’ve tried to date (and that includes restaurants too!). Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      October 29, 2022 at 1:19 pm

      So great to hear, John! Thanks for the review 🙂 C.

    5 KNOCKOUT

    DINNERS

    YOU'LL NEVER STOP MAKING!

    A FREE EMAIL SERIES, FROM ONE FOODIE TO ANOTHER