Chicken piccata is nothing more than chicken breast cutlets, dredged in flour, browned, and served with a sauce of butter, lemon juice, capers, and either stock or white wine.
It can be prepared in 30 minutes or less and is so easy and delicious it should be part of every home cook’s repertoire. It’s perfect for a quick midweek meal! Your family will think you’re a professional chef!
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast halves, butterflied into thinner cutlets, then cut in half cross-wise
Kosher salt and black pepper
½ cup flour for dredging, use whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, or gluten free flour of your choice
4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoon ghee, or butter, if you prefer
⅓ cup lemon juice
½ cup white wine, (or chicken broth if you don’t want to use wine)
3 to 4 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
Fresh chopped parsley for garnish
Step 1: Butterfly the chicken breasts
Chicken breasts can be thick and uneven. So it’s a good idea to butterfly them so that they cook quickly and evenly, by splitting them in half horizontally, creating thinner cutlets. To do that, start with a sharp knife. Place your hand on top of the chicken, and carefully slice horizontally. (And if you need to, you can even cut the cutlets in halves crosswise, ending up with smaller pieces. So if you started with 2 large chicken breast halves, you can end up with up to 8 smaller pieces.)
Pat the butterflied chicken breasts dry with a paper towel and season the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper on both sides.
Using your flour of choice – all-purpose, whole wheat (for Mediterranean diet), or gluten-free – dip your chicken pieces in the flour until evenly coated and shake off any extra flour. This is just a light coating of flour. It will help thicken the sauce a little.
Step 2: Sear the chicken
In a large cast iron skillet or pan, heat 2 or so tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat or medium-high heat until shimmering (not smoking). Cook the chicken for 3 minutes on each side. You are looking for a golden-brown color. You may need to work in batches so all the chicken is equally golden in color. Remove the cutlets from the skillet and set aside briefly.
Step 3: Make the lemon-caper sauce
To make the chicken piccata sauce, heat the same large skillet to medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add 3 tablespoons of ghee (or butter if you prefer) and let it melt. Once melted, stir in ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice, ½ cup white wine, and 3 to 4 tablespoons rinsed and drained capers.
Bring the lemon butter sauce to a boil and scrape all those yummy browned bits from the chicken from the bottom of the pan. This adds depth of flavor to your piccata sauce.
Step 4: Simmer the chicken in the sauce
Add the chicken cutlets back to the pan with the sauce. Lower the heat and let chicken simmer in the sauce for 4 to 5 minutes. Make sure to baste the chicken pieces with that flavorful sauce as it simmers! Do this by using a larger spoon to scoop some sauce from the pan and pour the sauce over top of the chicken.
Remove from the heat and garnish with parsley for a pop of gorgeous green color and freshness!. Serve with plain orzo or mashed potatoes and your favorite salad. yummy!