Chicken Piccata is a simple, classic dish brimming with tangy, rich flavor. Easy enough to whip up for weeknight dinners as well as an elegant dish to serve to guests. Video.

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A simple, classic Italian dish brimming with flavor- Chicken Piccata is easy enough for weeknight dinners or elegant enough for entertaining.

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Chicken Piccata’s roots are a little hazy but are thought to have been created in America by Italian immigrants. It implements a classic Italian cooking technique, scaloppine, which refers to a particular way of preparing meat and fish to cook quickly and evenly by being pounded flat. The chicken cutlets are then sautéed and topped with a quick sauce made in the same pan from all the flavorful drippings.

Chicken Piccata is layered with simple ingredients. White wine, savory shallots, tangy lemon, briny capers, and creamy butter create the luscious sauce that tops the tender seared chicken, creating a perfect balance of flavors making it clear why this dish is a loved classic.

Chicken Piccata | 60-Second Video

Ingredients In Chicken Piccata

All ingredients for making chicken piccata.  Chicken, butter, capers, garlic, shallot, lemon, parsley.

Ingredient Notes

  • chicken breasts– boneless thighs are fine too.
  • shallots– add more savory depth.
  • capers– essential briney element for this dish, can substitute olives.
  • white wine– we like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.     

faqs

What does piccata mean?

The Italian word piccata translates to be pounded flat, referring to a particular way of preparing meat and fish to cook quickly and evenly, which is then sautéed and topped with a lemon, caper, butter sauce.

What is chicken piccata called in Italy?

Scaloppine, which basically means thinly slice meat sautéed or fried and then a quick sauce made in the same pan from all the flavorful drippings.

What is chicken piccata sauce made of?

White wine, chicken broth, capers, garlic, shallots, lemon juice and butter.

How To Make Chicken Piccata

Slicing the chicken breast in half lengthwise on a wooden cutting board.  Bowls of capers, shallots and garlic.

STEP ONE– Slice chicken breasts in half length-wise. Use a sharp knife and try to cut in one smooth motion rather than sawing, which will leave jagged, torn meat.

Pounding the chicken on a wooden cutting board, covered in plastic, with a small cast iron skillet.

STEP TWO– Place the chicken in a plastic bag and lightly pound until even thickness, 1/2 inch or less.  Generously season both sides of the cutlets with salt.

If you do not have a meat mallet for pounding the chicken, try a small cast iron or heavy pan, or use a rolling pin or wine bottle.

A bowl of flour, lightly dredging chicken cutlet in the flour.

STEP THREE– Place flour in a shallow bowl, lightly dredge chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess. Using flour helps the chicken brown quickly without overcooking it.

STEP FOUR– Cook the cutlets in two or three batches.  Add olive oil and a teaspoon or two of butter to a skillet. Fry the cutlets over med-high heat. Add more oil and butter if needed for each batch. Set chicken aside.

Shallots and capers sautéing in pan.

STEP FIVE– In the same pan, sauté the shallots and capers for 3 minutes.  Add garlic, sautéing another minute.  Add wine and scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan, simmer for 3 minutes.

Whisking butter in the caper wine sauce.

STEP SIX– Add chicken broth and black pepper, heat to a simmer and whisk in butter until emulsified.  Add chicken and heat 2-3 minutes until chicken is warm and registers 165 on a thermometer.  Add lemon juice and parsley. Spoon the sauce over the top of the chicken.

Serve with extra lemon wedges. We often add more fresh herbs like basil and thyme when available.

What To Serve With Chicken Piccata

A simple, classic Italian dish brimming with flavor- Chicken Piccata is easy enough for weeknight dinners or elegant enough for entertaining.

More Recipes You May Enjoy

A simple, classic Italian dish brimming with flavor- Chicken Piccata is easy enough for weeknight dinners or elegant enough for entertaining.

Enjoy!

~Tonia

Love this recipe? Please let us know in the comments and leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below the recipe card.

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A simple, classic Italian dish brimming with flavor- Chicken Piccata is easy enough for weeknight dinners or elegant enough for entertaining.

Chicken Piccata

  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 68 cutlets 1x
  • Category: chicken
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

A simple, classic Italian dish brimming with flavor- Chicken Piccata is easy enough for weeknight dinners or elegant enough for entertaining.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts (or pre sliced cutlets)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup all- purpose flour ( or sub GF flour blend)
  • 23 tablespoons olive oil (lite olive oil, not extra virgin)
  • 4 tablespoons, 2 oz, butter, plus more for cooking chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large shallot, 1/2 cup, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped small
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • lemon wedges

Instructions

  1. Slice chicken breasts in half length-wise ( if extra large).  Lightly pound to an even thickness, about a 1/2 inch.  Generously season both sides of the cutlets with salt.
  2. Place flour in a shallow bowl, lightly dredge chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess.
  3. Cook the cutlets in two or three batches.  Add olive oil and a teaspoon or two of butter to a skillet. Sear the cutlets over med-high heat for about 3 minutes, turn them over for another 30 seconds to a minute.  The chicken will get heated and finish cooking in the sauce, so we are just going for a light sear.  Add more oil and butter if needed for each batch. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, without cleaning it, sauté the shallots and capers for 3 minutes.  Add garlic, sautéing another minute.  Add wine and scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan, simmer for 3 minutes.
  5. Add chicken broth and black pepper, heat to a simmer and whisk in butter until emulsified.  Add chicken and heat 2-3 minutes until chicken is warm and cooked through. 
  6. Add lemon juice, parsley and adjust salt and pepper.

Notes

For a special touch you can sear lemon slices by placing then on a hot skillet for about 30 seconds each side or until they get lightly charred on the edges.  Add a slice or two to each serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cutlet
  • Calories: 265
  • Sugar: 0.3 g
  • Sodium: 253.8 mg
  • Fat: 12.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 26.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 98 mg

Keywords: chicken piccata, best chicken piccata recipe, chicken piccata recipe, classic chicken piccata

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this recipe! After 15 years of vegetarian life I need to start eating meat again (for health reasons) and I chose this recipe to be my first! We had a whole free-range chicken which my husband processed and I am so glad I made this dish which required minimal meat physical handling and had familiar flavors (the source).

  2. I wanted to cook dinner for my family a few days after Christmas and landed on this recipe. I doubled up and followed it to a T. When I tell you I’m craving this again already, everyone loved it! From my 10y/o niece to my brother in law, it was a hit. I was nervous at the end because the sauce didn’t seem thick enough but after letting it chill on the counter for a little it quickly thickened. Thank you for the recipe!

  3. Great dish! As a long-time on again off again vegan/vegetarian, I started eating chicken on occasion but was nervous about cooking it myself. I’ve made this dish twice so far, and it came out perfectly each time. I used a little less than a pound and a half of chicken breasts but followed the recipe for two pounds. I did throw away the chicken juice before I added the shallots and capers because it was brown and I didn’t know if it would taste like it was burned. Might have tasted even better had I left it in the pan. Thanks for your delicious recipes!

    1. oh, I am in the same boat and about to start eating meat again after 15 years of being vegetarian and this recipe caught my eye instantly. P.S. also terrified to handle and cook meat!

  4. Made it last night to go with a caponata I made for my vegetarian wife – gorgeous! And so simple – the chicken I mean :0)

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