In less than 30 minutes, whip up a simple chicken dinner perfect for any season. This Easy Chicken Piccata combines the extravagant flavors of lemon and caper on top of fresh cooked pasta. Even the kids will love this weeknight meal.
While a great weeknight meal, it’s so delicious you’ll want to serve for guests
Spring is here and you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when you could be enjoying the beautiful weather. Around here, we only get this perfect weather for a couple of weeks, so we try to be outside as much as possible.
Chicken Piccata is one of those really simple dishes that takes minimal effort with amazing results, and it will keep you out of the kitchen. You can make this in about the amount of time it takes for the pasta to cook.
Why you’ll love it
- You can have it on the table in under 30 minutes.
- While simple, it’s elegant
- It’s a one pan dinner (except for the pasta pot)
- It takes just a few ingredients
- You can re-heat the leftovers for lunch
What is chicken piccata
It’s a classic Italian dish where the chicken is dredged in flour and served with a lemon and caper sauce. Some recipes add flour to the sauce, but in this version, the sauce is slightly thickened from the flour that you dredge the chicken in. This keeps it a bit lighter. You don’t have to use capers to still have a wonderful dish, but adding capers combined with the lemon, adds a more flavorful punch.
What you’ll need
- Chicken breasts – no bones or skin. You’ll be pounding this into thin cutlets.
- Lemons – you ned two, one will be cut into slices and the other is used for the juice.
- Capers – these little guys have so much flavor
- Pantry staples – flour, oil, shallot, garlic, butter and chicken broth.
What can you substitute for capers
Capers are the pickled bud of a caper bush that adds that tangy lemony flavor to this chicken piccata recipe. They last indefinitely in brine they’re packaged in. But if you find that you’re all out, you could use chopped up green olives and get a similar flavor. Since the recipe has lemons, it will still be great without them.
How do you prep the Chicken
- To get the most tender chicken, soak it in buttermilk overnight or for at least 30 minutes. This isn’t essential in this chicken piccata recipe, but it doesn’t hurt.
- Rinse the buttermilk and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Most chicken breasts have one half that is thicker than the other. So first cut the chicken in half and then take the thicker piece and slice it in half horizontally so that you end up with three pieces that are close to the same size.
- Place the pieces between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound until thin and uniform in thickness.
Step by Step instructions
Step 1: Lightly dredge the chicken pieces in flour and place in a a hot skillet. Cook until golden brown, then flip and cook until a meat thermometer has reached 160º. Remove to a rack.
Step 2: Half one of the lemons and cut into ¼ inch slices.
Step 3: Add shallots to the skillet and cook until softened then add garlic. Add the chicken broth and lemon slices and bring to a simmer.
Step 4: Add the chicken back to the pan and simmer for about 4 minutes. Remove to a platter. Add butter and capers to the sauce and pour over the chicken. Serve over pasta.
How do you serve Chicken Piccata
Angel hair pasta is my favorite for creamy chicken piccata. You just want something to absorb some of the lemon caper sauce and a heavy pasta is better for a tomato or cream sauce. Of course, any will work, so use what’s in your pantry, but if purchasing just for this dish, I would pick angel hair. If you’re more of a potato person, then try it over mashed potatoes.
Not only is Chicken Piccata delicious, quick and easy to prepare, but it’s pretty healthy. Win win for everyone!
FAQ’s and Tips
It’s mostly chicken broth and lemons and is thickened by the flour that the chicken is dredge in. No cream needed to make this delicious sauce.
Soaking them in buttermilk before hand and then pounding them so that they are the same thickness will keep them from being overcooked and dry.
Yes, then just warm it in the microwave.
If you love Italian Classics, you have to try these
More lemon recipes
- Lemon Mustard Chicken with Potatoes
- Salmon with Citrus and Olive Oil
- Lemon and Blueberry Pancakes
- Lemon Chess Pie.
If you loved this recipe, give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #butterandbaggage and tagging me @butterandbaggage.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 2 lemons
- ¾ cup flour
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons capers
- Cut chicken breast in half crosswise, then cut the thick half in half again horizontally so that you have 3 equal pieces. Repeat for all four breasts. Place between plastic wrap and pound to ½ inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
- Half lemon lengthwise. Trim off the ends of 1 half and cut it again lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thin ¼ inch slices. Set aside and juice remaining lemon.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place flour in a pie plate and dredge chicken in flour, shake off excess and place in hot skillet. Place 6 pieces in the skillet and turn down the heat to medium. Cook until brown, 2-3 minutes and flip and cook the other side. Remove to wire rack. Add 2 tablespoons oil and once heated, add the rest of the chicken. Remove to wire rack.
- If needed add 1 teaspoon of oil to the skillet and add shallots. Cook until softened and add garlic, cook an additional minute. Add broth, lemon juice and lemon slices and bring to simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Add chicken to the pan and simmer for about 4 minutes, flipping half way through. Remove chicken to a platter.
- If sauce is not thickened, cook an additional minute. Then remove from heat and add butter and capers. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over chicken.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- If the sauce has not thickened, let it simmer for a few more minutes before adding the butter and capers.
- Try serving this over angel hair pasta or mashed potatoes.
- The capers are not essential, you can leave them out.
- For even more tender chicken, soak it in buttermilk for 3o minutes or overnight. Rinse and pat dry.
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