Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata is lightly breaded and pan-fried, then basted with a creamy lemon butter sauce and capers. Serve with your favorite pasta or mashed potatoes for an elegant yet easy meal.

four pieces of chicken piccata and lemon piccata sauce in a large skillet with capers and lemon slices

CHICKEN PICCATA RECIPE

Chicken Piccata is one of my all time favorite dinners. It’s incredibly easy to make and ready in about 30 minutes, but looks super classy and tastes like you worked for hours. You’ll often find this dish served over angel hair pasta or mashed potatoes.

The chicken is coated with flour and seasonings then pan-fried in olive oil and butter, creating a tender, moist and juicy chicken breast. The key to getting that golden exterior is to just let the chicken sit as it cooks and resist the urge to move it around and peak. When you go to flip it make sure that you get your tongs or spatula all the way under the chicken so you don’t snag the breading and pull it off.

The piccata sauce though, is my most favorite thing about this recipe. It’s got a creamy texture with tart lemon and salty capers and the flavors just dance on your tongue. Made with the butter and juices in the pan after the chicken is cooked, this sauce has an incredible flavor that is heightened by the briney capers.

It may sound like just a fancy way to make lemon chicken, but this chicken piccata is anything but basic.

An overhead photo of four pieces of chicken piccata with picatta sauce, capers and lemon slices.

WHAT IS CHICKEN PICCATA?

Chicken Piccata 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 piccata is the American version of the Italian classic, Veal Piccata.

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN PICCATA

Chicken Piccata looks fancy, but it’s super easy to make. There are a few steps, but they are easy to follow and take no time at all.

Chicken Prep

  1. 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.
  2. Dredge the chicken in flour season with salt and pepper. To avoid any clumping as it fries, be sure to gently shake off any excess flour.

a collage of two images with chicken dredged in flour then pan fried

Pan-Fried Chicken

  1. Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet. Melting butter with olive oil keeps the butter from scorching as it heats up.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Piccata Sauce

  1. Melt some butter in the same pan you fried the chicken in, scraping up any bits that happen to be stuck to the pan. That’s where the flavor is!
  2. Whisk in some flour and let it cook for a few minutes, then whisk in chicken broth and bring it to a simmer until it’s thickened.
  3. Finally, stir in lemon juice and capers and spoon the sauce over the chicken as it’s served.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

I typically serve chicken piccata with 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 garden salad, roasted broccoli or some garlic green beans.

A close up image of a piece of chicken with lemon sauce and capers cut in half

More chicken recipes to try:

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A pan full of Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata

Lightly pounded, floured and fried chicken breasts, served with a tangy lemon and capers piccata sauce. Serve over pasta or mashed potatoes.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 519kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Sauce

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 519kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 40gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 842mgPotassium: 741mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 672IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 3mg
Keyword chicken piccata

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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