Chicken Piccata Recipe

Want to serve a meal that will impress even the most discerning diners? Then you have a few options: hire a chef, attend culinary school and become a trained chef yourself, or find a meal that's amazing without the need for pro-level cooking chops — a meal ... just like this one.

"Chicken piccata looks like a fancy restaurant dish that is deceptively easy to make at home," says chef and recipe developer Erin Johnson of Probably in the Kitchen. "It's fast and easy, mostly just melting butter and mixing things together." In other words, this is going to become one of your favorite dishes to serve because your friends and family will ooh and aah over your culinary prowess and appreciate how much time and effort you seem to have put into the meal, whereas in actuality you were scrolling on your phone for most of the time you hid out in the kitchen. Don't worry — your secret is safe.

According to Merriam-Webster, the word "piccata" refers to "thin slices of meat (such as veal) that are dredged in flour, sautéed, and served in a lemon and butter sauce." While the more classic Italian dish is Veal Piccata, according to Saveur, the chicken variation of the meal is a great take on this buttery, lemony entrée, a dish you'll surely make again and again once you realize just how easy it is to make.

Gather your ingredients

You likely have most of the ingredients needed for this dish on hand already, with a possible exception of fresh parsley and capers. Don't skip the latter: go get some! "Don't be scared of capers," says Johnson. "They have a briny, salty flavor that works well with the lemon. If you're not a fan, use less! We are big caper lovers in my house, so I add a lot."

All in all, you'll need 4 thinly sliced chicken breasts (or 2 breasts butterflied and sliced in half), a 1/2 cup of flour, salt and pepper, olive oil (for cooking), 2 cloves of garlic (minced), a 1/4 cup of white wine, a 1/4 cup of chicken stock, 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, the juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup of capers (rinsed), and chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional).

"If you don't want to use wine, simply replace it with additional stock," Johnson adds.

Prep the chicken

If you bought thin chicken breasts in the first place, you can move down to the second part of this step. If not, now is the time to trim any excess fat and gristle, and then butterfly the chicken, meaning to slice the breast in half and open it up, creating a butterfly wing shape with two thinner halves side-by-side. It's a good idea to also grab a mallet and give the chicken a few good taps to tenderize it

Now season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Then mix the flour with some additional salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon of each) and mix the dry ingredients until they are well combined. Next, lightly dredge the chicken in the flour and spice mixture, covering both sides with a thin layer.

Cook the chicken and then garlic

Cover the bottom of a large skillet (a Dutch oven works fine too) with olive oil and heat it until the pan and the oil are hot. Now brown the chicken breasts in the skillet, cooking for 5 minutes per side, and then remove the meat and set it aside.

Next, reduce the heat under the pan to medium and add the 2 minced garlic cloves. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic softens, begins to grow translucent, and becomes fragrant. That should take just 2 or 3 minutes, for reference.

Prepare the sauce and finish cooking the chicken

Deglaze the pan with the wine and stock, scraping the fond from the bottom using a stiff wooden spatula or a plastic or silicone tool (or use a metal spoon or spatula, but be gentle so you don't scrape the pan). Don't worry about scraped up bits left floating in the pan — they only add flavor.

Now add the butter, lemon juice, and capers and stir well, then taste and adjust the seasonings as you'd like.

Finally, add the chicken back to the pan and allow it to cook for 5 more minutes, flipping once during the process.

Chicken Piccata serving ideas

Once your chicken is ready, top it with fresh parsley and "serve over mashed potatoes, pasta, or eat it on it's own," says Johnson, adding, "The chicken is delicious on a brioche roll for lunch the next day."

Also note that as measured here, the sauce makes enough for up to 6 servings, so Johnson says to "Feel free to add another piece of chicken or two." You can also enjoy this same sauce over a pork chop or even a cut of beef. And here's a hack to consider: "If you're looking to make this even faster," says Johnson, "make the sauce, and add in rotisserie or pre-cooked chicken. You could even just make the sauce and toss pasta in it if you want to keep it meatless."

Chicken Piccata Recipe
4.9 from 31 ratings
This delicious chicken piccata recipe is super easy to make, but fancy enough to impress your friends.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chicken piccata
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 4 thin-sliced chicken breasts or 2 breasts butterflied and sliced in half
  • ½ cup flour
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup of capers, rinsed
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
  1. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix flour with some additional salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon each) and mix until combined.
  3. Lightly dredge the chicken in the flour, covering both sides with a thin layer of flour.
  4. In a large skillet, cover the bottom with olive oil and heat until the pan and oil are hot.
  5. Brown the chicken in the skillet, 5 minutes per side and then remove.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic. Cook until fragrant.
  7. Deglaze the pan with the wine and stock, scraping the fond from the bottom.
  8. Add the butter, lemon juice, and capers. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  9. Add the chicken back to the pan and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Top with fresh parsley and serve over mashed potatoes, pasta, or eat it on its own.
Calories per Serving 516
Total Fat 31.6 g
Saturated Fat 12.5 g
Trans Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 142.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 15.3 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Total Sugars 0.9 g
Sodium 614.4 mg
Protein 38.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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