Chicken Piccata with Lemon Caper Sauce is one of those cannot miss meals. It is light, but also satisfies that comfort craving. It is easy enough to pull together in less than 30 minutes on a weeknight. And elegant enough to serve to friends at a dinner party.
It’s All in the Preparation
Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise and pound them out to ¼” even thickness. It is an essential step for this dish. A quick pan sauté and rest… the result is tender, juicy and delicate cutlets.
Short on time? Most grocery stores offer thin sliced, boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
We double dredge our chicken cutlets in flour for our chicken piccata recipe. A double dredge is not typical for chicken piccata, but it’s worth it! It creates a nice crust that stands up well to the pan sauce.
We use a large, 12” non-stick ceramic skillet for our chicken piccata. This ensures a pan that isn’t overcrowded. An overcrowded skillet promotes steam while cooking. Trust us, you want to achieve that golden brown crust.
Before starting the cooking process, preheat the oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s the perfect holding temperature. It keeps the chicken warm without cooking it further. This strategy works well when cooking in batches and when making the pan sauce. Or tent the chicken cutlets with foil while finishing the cooking process.
We use a combination of olive oil and butter to cook our chicken. Olive oil has a higher smoke point than butter – which can burn at higher temperatures. The olive oil helps us achieve a nice golden color and the butter adds richness to the dish. Watch the temperature and reduce the heat if needed.
For our pan sauce, we deglaze our pan with a dry white wine like unoaked Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Even a dry Rose works beautifully. Choose a bottle that is affordable, but always drinkable. With a wooden spoon or spatula scrape up the brown bits in the pan while reducing the wine. This is major flavor. Fresh lemon juice, chicken stock, and capers are then added to the sauce.
Place the cooked chicken cutlets into the skillet’s pan sauce before plating. This step creates a pan sauce with more body. The flour coating the chicken slightly thickens, giving some weight to the sauce. The pan sauce isn’t done yet. It needs butter to finish and balance it. After plating and before pouring the pan sauce on the finished dish… add the remaining butter and whisk to incorporate. Butter adds a silky richness that balances the beautiful acidity of the lemon and wine. Then drizzle over the plated chicken. Garnish with thin sliced lemon and minced parsley.
Steamed spinach and roasted potatoes pair beautifully with chicken piccata.
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Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner: Garlic Lemon Chicken and Vegetables
Oven Fried Chicken Strips