This easy chicken piccata recipe is lemony, creamy and full of flavor! Lightly dredged chicken is seared until golden brown, and all of the chicken bits in the pan are scraped up to flavor the savory lemon butter sauce. Crispy briny fried capers are tossed over the top for a salty crunch with every bite. This is definitely one of those easy chicken breast dinner ideas that you are going to want to make over and over again!
The Chicken Piccata Sauce Recipe:
The sauce is what makes chicken piccata so memorable. The creamy lemon butter sauce for chicken is so delicious, its hard to imagine that it is made so quickly!
Onions and garlic are sautéed in the same pan that the chicken was cooked in, then the pan is deglazed with white wine to scrape up all of the flavorful chicken bits on the bottom of the pan. Chicken broth is simmered down until thicker and creamier, then the lemon juice is added.
Butter melts into the sauce and you are left with a thick and rich lemon sauce for chicken, PERFECT when poured over pasta, chicken and even fish!
How To Make Lemon Chicken Piccata:
Like I mentioned, this is such an easy recipe! I find that when a recipe has a name that I have heard countless times at restaurants (like chicken piccata, general tso’s, chicken marsala and so on), I always feel slightly intimidated trying to make it.
It’s so famous, how will I ever make something as good as the restaurants?! Well, this recipe removes that mask of uncertainty and breaks this traditional Italian dish down into simple steps that ANY home cook can master!
First, pound the chicken. Tenderizing the meat softens the fibers and makes the chicken easier to chew, and in my opinion, more enjoyable.
Salt & pepper it, then dredge it through flour. Heat oil in a skillet and cook each side of the chicken until golden brown. Finish in the oven until an internal temperature of 165 degrees. (I always finish my chicken in the oven for fear of under cooking but if you can cook it all of the way on the stove top without burning it, more power to you!)
Add chopped onion to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes before adding the minced garlic. Deglaze the pan by pouring in about 1/4 cup of white wine. Scrape up all of the brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan, as these add valuable flavor to the sauce.
Pour in your chicken broth and add your half-moon lemon slices to the liquid. Allow the broth to reduce by half which takes about 10-15 minutes. During this time, fry the capers in oil until crispy.
Add lemon juice and butter and mix until melted. Pour the sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley and fried capers! Enjoy your chicken piccata dinner!
Want to serve this dish with homemade spaghetti noodles like I did? Check out my recipe here!
Please don’t fear the process of making fresh pasta at home! Just reading the words ‘homemade spaghetti noodles’ can be enough for some people’s reptilian brain ‘fight or flight‘ response to kick in! But I promise you, this spaghetti recipe is so stinkin’ easy, I actually had to take a deep look at myself to …
Need a good stainless steel skillet to make recipes like this one? This 12 inch All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe Fry Pan Saute Pan Cookware is an excellent choice!
What To Serve With Chicken Piccata:
This easy chicken piccata recipe is absolutely WONDERFUL over fresh pasta! I actually made this dinner for Valentine’s Day and served it over fresh handmade spaghetti and it was a hit. Pasta is affordable, has a long shelf life and tastes great with a wide variety of sauces, so chicken piccata with pasta is my pick!
But here are some other options for what you can serve with this lemon chicken piccata recipe:
Frequently Asked Questions:
|What kind of pan is best to use for this recipe?
|Whatever you do, DON’T use a non-stick! We want and encourage the sticking of the chicken in the pan. This adds valuable flavor to the sauce and also helps to thicken it. I recommend using a stainless steel skillet or even a large Dutch Oven.
|Can I eat the lemon rinds that are in the sauce?
|This question makes me laugh, because when I served this to my husband for our valentines day dinner, he had to spit out a lemon rind because I forgot to mention to him that they were not edible! (LOL!) So no, they should not be eaten. I do find that serving the sauce WITH the lemon slices brings character and beauty to the dish, and we all know we eat with our eyes! So keep them, just tell your loved ones NOT to eat them.
|Do I have to finish the chicken in the oven?
|Okay, so let me explain this one. I write recipes how I personally cook. I try not to base them off of what every other recipe on the internet says. Most chicken piccata recipes say to cook the chicken in the pan until cooked through. I, being a non-professionally trained home cook, find it very difficult to cook flour coated chicken breasts through in a skillet without burning them. So I finish mine in the oven. Totally my own preference, and if you can cook them to 165 degrees F in the skillet without burning them than more power to you!
|Is chicken piccata healthy?
|So chicken piccata is full of lean protein from the chicken and tons of vitamin C from the fresh lemons. But it also has butter. So, depending on what your definition of ‘healthy‘ is, this recipe can really go either way. But I personally wouldn’t say it is healthy healthy, just because of the amount of butter in it. But DAMN IT, it is delicious!
|Do I have to fry the capers?
|You don’t have to fry the capers, but I recommend it! Fried capers are one my ABSOLUTE favorite things on the face of this earth. That seems dramatic, but they seriously elevate the simplest of dishes to the next level. The capers become so crunchy, and their dimension completely changes from just a wet green ball to a crispy flavor bomb of salty magic. So if you’ve never tried them, I recommend giving them a shot with this recipe!
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Easy Chicken Piccata Recipe
- 6-8 small chicken breasts (or 4 large chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise so they are about 4 ounces each)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 2 small yellow onions, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (or cooking sherry)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
- 1 lemon, sliced into 1/4 inch thick half moons, plus the juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup) (2 lemons total)
- 2 oz jar of capers, drained
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter
- salt & pepper
- minced parsley for garnish
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the chicken breasts flat in between 2 pieces of plastic wrap (one piece of plasic below the chicken and one on top). Using a meat tenderizer mallot, lightly pound the thicker ends of the breasts until uniform in thickness.
- Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. Spread the flour in a shallow dish and dredge the chicken breasts through the flour on both sides.
- Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Lay the chicken breasts flat in the skillet and cook on each side until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and finish in the oven until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, which is about 15-20 more minutes.
- Toss the chopped onion into the skillet and cook until begining to become translucent, around 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of white wine, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the chicken broth and lemon slices, and bring it all to a simmer. Simmer until it is reduced by 1/2 and is slightly syrupy, about 12 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering, fry the capers. Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a small skillet until hot, then pour in the drained capers. Fry, stiring frequetly until begining to turn light brown, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Once the sauce has reduced, pour in the lemon juice and any juices from the cooked chicken. Turn the heat to low and add the butter. Stir until melted.
- Remove from the heat and pour over the chicken. Sprinkle with fried capers and parsley and serve over homemade spaghetti, mashed potatoes or any other base you choose! Enjoy!