Chicken Piccata is chicken breasts dredged in flour, pan-fried, and coated in a buttery lemon-wine sauce with capers. Try my Lemon Chicken Pasta for another chicken dish with lots of lemon flavor.
The term piccata generally refers to a way to prepare meat or fish. The meat, in this case, chicken, is sliced and half, sauteed, and then coated in a buttery lemon sauce with capers. It’s a meal that can be prepared in less than 45 minutes which makes it a delicious and practical weeknight dish.
Chicken Piccata Ingredients
Chicken: I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced horizontally into two pieces. You could also use chicken thighs; however, you would not follow the slicing in half method, and cooking time may differ.
Flour: All-purpose flour is used to dredge the chicken pieces before pan-frying.
Butter: You will need butter for both pan-frying the chicken and for the sauce. Use unsalted butter since the capers are loaded with salt themselves.
White Wine: This recipe calls for dry white wine. Dry white wine is not sweet, has high acidity, and is referred to as a ‘crisp’ wine. Some examples are Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Unoaked Chardonnay. If you prefer to not cook with wine, you could substitute with chicken stock.
Lemons: You will need two lemons for this recipe. Juice one lemon for about 1/3 cup lemon juice. Slice the second lemon into five rounds, cutting each of those rounds in half.
Capers: Capers are flower buds from Capparis shrubs. They are usually stored in brine or packed in salt. Whether brined or in salt (we used brined), be sure to rinse and drain them before adding them to a recipe. Rinsing capers will lessen the salt so more of the authentic caper flavor be more prominent. Capers are a key ingredient in piccata.
Preparing the Chicken
The first thing to do for this recipe is to cut each chicken breast in half. To do this, place one hand on top of the chicken, holding it down. Place a sharp knife halfway between the top and bottom of the piece of chicken. Slowly slice through the chicken, letting the knife do most of the work. Once the knife has gone all the way through the chicken, split it into two pieces.
After the chicken has been cut, mix together the flour, salt, and pepper on a shallow plate. Dredge each piece of chicken through the flour. Then, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook each chicken piece 4-6 minutes per side, or until golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may have to work in batches. If working in batches, melt a little more butter when cooking the next few pieces of chicken.
Remove the chicken from the skillet and place it on a clean plate. Tent the chicken with aluminum foil to keep it warm as you prepare the sauce.
How to Make Chicken Piccata
With the chicken cooked and set aside, it’s time to get the sauce made. To make the sauce, continue using the same skillet in which you cooked the chicken. Add a stick of butter over medium heat, scraping up any brown bits in the pan. Next, slowly add the wine, whisking continuously. Then, add the lemon juice and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes, or until it has been reduced by half.
After the sauce has been reduced, add the capers and lemon round halves, whisking to combine. Finally, add the cooked chicken back into the skillet and coat each piece with the sauce. Let the chicken piccata simmer for 3-5 minutes. Serve over a bed of rice or pasta noodles, spooning some extra sauce over the top. And, don’t forget a basket of dinner rolls and a side of roasted asparagus to round out the meal.
How to Store Chicken Piccata
This dish can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply reheat leftovers in the microwave. To store in the freezer, freeze the chicken and sauce in separate containers. When ready to enjoy, let each thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat it in the microwave when ready to eat.
Looking for More Chicken Dishes?
Chicken Piccata is chicken breasts dredged in flour, pan-fried, and coated in a buttery lemon-wine sauce with capers.
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, each sliced in half horizontally into two pieces
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons butter, plus more as needed
- ½ cup (1 stick, 113g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup dry white wine, or chicken stock
- 1 medium lemon, juiced (approximately ⅓ cup)
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium lemon, sliced into 5 rounds and halved
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
On a medium-sized plate, add flour, salt, and pepper. Mix together.
Dredge each chicken piece through the flour to coat completely. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add butter. Once the butter has melted add chicken and cook 4-6 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may have to work in batches. If working in batches, add a little more butter before cooking the next batch of chicken.
Remove the chicken from the pan, place it on a plate, and tent to keep warm.
To the same skillet over medium heat, add the stick of butter. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits in the pan.
Slowly add wine, whisking continuously.
Add lemon juice and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until the sauce is reduced by half (about 10 minutes) whisking occasionally.
Add capers and lemon round halves; whisk to combine.
Add chicken back into the sauce, turning the chicken to coat. Simmer 3-5 more minutes.
Serve the chicken over a plate of rice or pasta. Spoon sauce over the top.