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Lemon Chicken Piccata combines tender chicken breasts with a rich and tangy lemon butter sauce and briny capers, for a burst of flavor with every bite.
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About This Chicken Piccata Recipe
The chicken is first pan-seared to golden perfection, creating a crispy exterior while keeping the inside juicy and tender.
The Piccata sauce is truly something special. Made with fresh lemon juice, butter, capers, and chicken broth, the smooth and velvety sauce adds an irresistible layer of complexity to the chicken.
While this simple yet elegant dish is ready in under 30 minutes, it’s the perfect go-to for a busy weeknight meal or dinner party. Serve it over mashed potatoes, pasta, rice, or a bed of steamed vegetables, and you have a complete, satisfying meal that looks and tastes like it came from a high-end restaurant.
It may sound like just a fancy way to make lemon chicken, but this chicken piccata is anything but basic.
How To Make Chicken Piccata
It may look fancy, but this simple lemon chicken dish is super easy to make. There are a few steps, but they are easy to follow and take no time at all.
See recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Chicken prep: Thin chicken is a must for this recipe and helps to ensure that it cooks fast. If you can find chicken cutlets at your grocery store or butcher, you can grab those or pound regular chicken breasts until they are nice and thin. You can cut them into smaller pieces as well.
- Breading: Dredge the chicken in flour and season with salt and pepper. To avoid any clumping as it fries, be sure to gently shake off any excess flour.
- Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet. Melting butter with olive oil keeps the butter from scorching as it heats up.
- Fry the chicken breasts in batches, depending on how big your pan is. Fill the pan up, but the chicken pieces should not be touching.
- Cook for about 4 minutes per side, then lay on paper towels to soak up the grease. Cover with foil and place in the oven to keep warm.
- Make the sauce: Melt some butter in the pan the chicken was cooked in, scraping up any bits left behind. Whisk in flour, then chicken broth, and simmer to thicken. Finally, add lemon juice and capers, then spoon over the chicken.
It is simply fried chicken breast cutlets (or thinly pounded chicken breasts) dredged in seasoned flour and pan-fried until golden brown, then served with a piccata sauce made from butter, lemon juice, capers, and chicken broth.
This chicken is the American version of the Italian classic, Veal Piccata.
Piccata has butter, fresh lemon juice, flour (as a thickener), capers, and sometimes includes garlic.
I typically serve over angel hair pasta. The thinner pasta really lets the sauce shine. A thin linguine also works, or even penne. If you’re more of a potato person, the piccata sauce is amazing over mashed potatoes.
This is a rich and hearty dish, so all you need on the side is a copycat Olive Garden salad, roasted broccoli, or some garlic green beans.
You can prep the chicken (pound if needed and dredge in the flour and seasonings. Save the cooking until you’re getting close to dinner time.
While I highly, highly recommend using fresh squeezed lemon juice for the freshest flavor, you can use pre-bottled juice.
Leftovers should be placed in an airtight container and into the refrigerator within 2 hours. Store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days and reheat in the microwave.
- Use freshly squeezed juice from a real lemon; it’s much more flavorful than juice from a bottle.
- Use a high heat for searing, and turn it down if it’s getting too dark too quickly.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook the chicken in batches if necessary. Overcrowding can lower the pan’s temperature and result in steaming rather than searing.
- Use a cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet if you have one. These types of pans maintain even heat and are excellent for searing.
More Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Supreme
- Baked Chicken Breasts
- Fried Chicken
- Crockpot Orange Chicken
- One Pot Chicken Alfredo
- One Pan Lemon Chicken Piccata Pasta
- 4 chicken cutlets about 1 ½ pounds
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil more as needed
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup capers drained
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
- Place flour in a flat bottomed dish with high sides, like a pie plate. Season both sides of the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper and dredge through flour, shaking off any excess.
- Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to the skillet and cook golden; about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and transfer chicken pieces to a paper towel lined plate.
- Make the sauce. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in the skillet, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom. Whisk in flour until smooth and cook until golden; 1-2 minutes. Gradually stir in chicken broth and simmer until thickened. Stir in lemon juice and capers.
- Taste and add a pinch or two of salt and pepper, then return the chicken to the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes., then stir in fresh parsley. Serve immediately.
- Serve over this pasta, like angel hair, or mashed potatoes.
- If you can’t find chicken cutlets, use regular chicken breasts pounded this, or cut to size.