Chicken is a go-to dinner option for most of us. But chicken gets boring. The good news is, there are thousands of different things one can do with chicken, many that are easy and flavorful, you just need to implement it and mix it into to your repertoire. And chicken piccata is one of those dishes.
Truthfully, there is nothing complicated, or fancy in this recipe, but it’s loaded with flavor and absolutely delicious. Lemon, capers, garlic and white wine is just about all you need to make this dish and I’m a big fan of the old classic. I first had this dish in middle school at my friends house. Her mom was not an avid cook by any means, but she made a killer piccata and to this day I think of her whenever I have it.“Piccata” (also known as pichotta) is Italian word, the feminine form of the word “piccato“, which means “larded”. But, when used in a food reference, it means “sliced, sautéed, and served in a sauce containing lemon, butter and spices”. Most commonly Italians use veal when making a piccata, sometimes you will see swordfish, but here in the United States, chicken that’s been butterflied is used most often.
The beauty of this dish is the case in its simple preparation. A garlic-lemon sauce is made from the pan drippings and it is foolproof which I love. Sometimes you will see the chicken breaded, almost like I do in my recipe for Eli’s Crispy Chicken, but here I only lightly flour the chicken before sautéing it. A dry, crisp white wine is ideal in this recipe. For more information on good wine options to cook with, check out this link.
So if you have never made chicken piccata, or have simply forgotten about this tasty dish from years ago, it’s worth of trying, and chances are, most will love it. Easy and economical, with loads of room for creativity should you wish to play with the flavors, just be sure to keep the acidity and saltiness well balanced and you truly can’t go wrong.
Recipe: Chicken Piccata
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, split, butterflied and lightly pounded
- 1/2 cup flour, plus 2 teaspoons
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- dash of black pepper
- lemon slices, for garnish
- Step 1 Place the split chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap, with a mallet, lightly pound the chicken to thin slightly. Season lightly with salt.
- Step 2 Place the flour in a small sallow bowl. Dip the chicken breasts into the flour and evenly coat. Shake off any excess and place on a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Set aside.
- Step 3 Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the chicken and cook until some coloration is visible, about 4 minutes pre side, depending on the thickness of your chicken. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Step 4 Place the sauté pan back over medium heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the shallots and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.
- Step 5 Next add the wine, bring to a boil and reduce by 1/2. Stir in the chicken stock, 2 teaspoons flour and honey. Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, lemon zest, capers, parsley, salt and pepper, mix well to incorporate. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Step 6 To serve, plate the chicken and pour the lemon-caper sauce on top. Garnish with additional lemon slices and serve immediately.