Chicken Piccata, a delightful blend of buttery and lemony flavors, is a cherished Italian-American dish. The term 'piccata' is Italian for 'larded' or 'sharp,' aptly describing its rich, tangy taste. This recipe is not only easy to prepare but also wonderfully complements pasta or rice, making it an ideal dinner option.
This recipe features boneless chicken breast coated in seasoned flour, pan-fried, and served with a lemon butter sauce. While some variations include heavy cream and white wine, this version is kid-friendly, making it a simple yet elegant dinner choice for everyone.
Ingredients and Substitutions Overview
This Chicken Piccata recipe is made with easy-to-find ingredients that you can pick up at any local grocery store or supermarket. Here's what you'll need:
- Chicken Breast: Opt for boneless chicken breasts for their lean, tender texture. They're the main feature of the dish. Alternatively, boneless chicken thighs can be used for a richer flavor and more moisture.
- Butter: Essential for its creamy, rich flavor, butter forms the base of the piccata sauce, adding depth and a smooth texture.
- Seasonings: A blend of black pepper, salt, and garlic powder adds a simple yet effective seasoning to enhance the natural flavors of the chicken.
- Chicken Stock: This adds a savory, deep flavor to the sauce. It's preferable over water for its richness and complexity. Vegetable broth is a suitable substitute for a lighter option.
- Aromatics: Finely chopped shallots and minced garlic introduce aromatic qualities, providing a subtle yet noticeable freshness to the sauce.
- Capers: These small, pickled flower buds add a distinctive tangy and salty flavor, balancing the richness of the other ingredients.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is ideal for its bright, acidic quality, cutting through the richness of the sauce and adding a refreshing zest.
- Flour: Used for dredging the chicken, the flour helps to create a light, crispy coating that also aids in thickening the sauce.
- Olive Oil: When used in conjunction with butter, it not only adds a layer of flavor but also helps prevent the butter from burning during frying.
How to Make Chicken Piccata at Home?
Dive into making Chicken Piccata with our easy recipe, complete with step-by-step photos and videos. Learn to prepare succulent chicken cutlets and top them with a zesty lemon butter sauce. Let's start cooking!
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- Chicken Cutlets
For Seasoning the Chicken
- 4 piece Boneless Chicken Breast, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp Black Pepper Powder
- ¾ tsp Salt
For Flour Coating and Frying
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- ¾ tsp Black Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Butter, for frying chicken
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
For Piccata Sauce
- 2 Shallots, diced
- 5 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 cups Chicken Stock
- 4 tbsp Butter, unsalted
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Capers, drained
- Salt, to taste
- Black Pepper Powder, to taste
- Parsley Leaves, chopped for garnishing
- Lemon Slices, for garnishing
To Season the Chicken Breasts
- Start by sprinkling salt and black pepper over thinly sliced, boneless chicken breasts. Make sure to rub the seasonings in evenly, then put them aside.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, garlic powder, a pinch of black pepper, and a dash of salt for a flavorful mix.
- Gently coat each chicken breast in the flour mixture, tapping off any extra. They're now prepped and perfect for pan-frying.
To Fry the Chicken
- Heat a pan over medium heat, add butter and olive oil, and allow them to melt. Fry each flour-dredged chicken breast for 3 to 5 minutes per side. Add more butter as needed for additional breasts.
- Remove the chicken from the pan once it's golden-brown and set aside for later.
To Prepare Chicken Piccata
- In the same pan, heat additional olive oil. Sauté diced shallots and garlic until fragrant.
- Add lemon juice, chicken stock, and capers. Stir well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then mix in butter and stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cooked chicken breasts to the sauce, coating them well, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and set aside. Let the sauce simmer until it thickens, then take off heat.
- Serve the chicken on a plate or tray, topped with the piccata sauce, and garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices.
- Enjoy this tangy Chicken Piccata, ideally paired with pasta, rice, or your favorite sides. Explore our serving suggestions section for more creative ideas to enhance your meal.
Chef's Notes and Tips
- Embrace Freshness: Prioritize fresh, quality ingredients. The magic of freshly squeezed lemon juice and vibrant herbs can significantly lift your dish’s flavor profile.
- Organize Beforehand: Embrace the art of mise en place - measure and prepare everything in advance. This not only streamlines your cooking process but also helps avoid any last-minute hiccups.
- Selecting Chicken: Choose thinly sliced or gently pounded boneless chicken breast for uniform cooking and better flavor absorption.
- Customize Your Seasonings: While traditional piccata relies on black pepper and salt, don't hesitate to experiment with spices like paprika to personalize your dish.
- Balancing Butter: Butter is key to piccata’s luxurious taste, but adjust according to your health preferences. A little less won't compromise the dish's integrity.
Cooking Techniques for Chicken Piccata:
- Pan-Frying the Chicken: Cook the thinly sliced chicken breasts for about 3-5 minutes on each side. Use a meat thermometer to ensure they reach the FDA's recommended internal temperature of 165°F for safe consumption.
- Managing the Heat: Keep the heat steady to achieve a golden-brown crust on the chicken. Be ready to adjust the temperature to prevent the chicken from burning or undercooking.
- Resting the Chicken: After cooking, let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. This step is crucial as it allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more juicy and tender chicken.
- Sauce Integration: There are two ways to serve the chicken with the sauce. One method is to add the cooked chicken cutlets back into the sauce, letting them absorb the flavors. Alternatively, for a crispier finish, you can arrange the chicken on a platter and pour the thickened sauce over the top just before serving.
Disclaimer: We’re not nutrition experts. Nutritional info is estimated and should be used as a guide. For precise details, consult a professional.
Explore our collection of chicken breast and Italian recipes. Discover succulent chicken dishes and authentic Italian flavors, all in easy and delicious options. Dive into simple, flavorful culinary creations!
To complement the delightful flavors of chicken piccata, consider serving it with the sides below:
- Angel Hair Pasta: Pair with this globally cherished pasta for a classic and widely enjoyed combination.
- Mashed Potatoes: Opt for creamy mashed potatoes to enhance the richness of the dish.
- Steamed Asparagus: Add a fresh and nutritious element to your meal with tender, steamed asparagus.
- Lemon Herb Rice: Infused with flavors that complement the lemony notes of the piccata sauce.
- Roasted Vegetables: A medley of colorful roasted vegetables adds variety and enhances the visual appeal of the dish.
- Salads: A crisp and refreshing side salad with a light vinaigrette provides a contrasting texture to the dish
You can keep this Chicken Piccata in the refrigerator for up to a day in a closed
- Refrigeration: Store the dish in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Remember, the butter in the sauce may harden when cold, so gently reheat it on low heat to remelt the butter smoothly.
- Advance Preparation: If you're making Chicken Piccata ahead of time, keep the chicken cutlets and sauce separate. This way, you can reheat them individually. When ready to serve, warm both separately, then pour the sauce over the chicken cutlets on a serving platter for a freshly made feel. This approach keeps the dish at its best for 2-3 days.