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…
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).
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).
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.
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 Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Dauphinoise 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?!
How to make Chicken Piccata (Full Recipe & Video)
The Best Chicken Piccata
- Large Pan & Tongs
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Large Shallow Dish (for dredging chicken)
- Spatula (optional, for stirring butter)
Ingredients (check list):
- 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
- 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
- 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!
Your Private Notes:
For another easy chicken breast recipe check out my Garlic Butter Chicken!
For more similar recipes check out these beauties:
Easy Chicken Breast Recipes
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Creamy Tarragon Chicken
- Garlic Mushroom Chicken
- Creamy Bacon Chicken
- Roasted Red Pepper Chicken
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