This Easy Chicken Piccata is dressed in a bright and tangy lemon caper sauce. It’s bursting with fresh and savory flavors, and is ready to eat in less than 30 minutes!Jump to Recipe
The best chicken piccata recipe
Busy weeknights are why this Easy Chicken Piccata recipe was invented. The pan-fried chicken and lemon caper sauce are both easy to make in one pan and take 30 minutes from start to finish. It’s a restaurant-worthy meal the whole family will love!
The chicken breasts are sliced thinly and pounded flat to help them fry quickly. The chicken piccata sauce is tart and creamy thanks to the lemon, butter, and capers, but features an added brightness from a splash of white wine and chicken broth. Both elements of this simple dish cook very quickly and pair so well with cooked pasta noodles, mashed potatoes, cauliflower mash, and a glass of white wine.
What is chicken piccata?
Chicken piccata is an Italian-American recipe made with dredged and pan-fried chicken or veal and a butter lemon caper sauce. “Piccata” is an Italian word that means “to be pounded flat”, which describes the thin chicken breasts or veal cutlets. You’ll often see chicken piccata on the menu at Italian-American restaurants like Olive Garden, but veal piccata is the more popular variation in Italy.
Chicken piccata ingredients
- Chicken – Boneless skinless chicken breasts are sliced and pounded thin so they cook quickly and are easy to eat. Piccata recipes can be made with any type of meat but chicken, fish, and veal are some of the more popular choices. As long as the meat is pounded flat, dredged and fried, and served with a lemon butter sauce, your piccata recipe will be as close to authentic as possible.
- Flour and garlic powder – The chicken is coated in a mixture of all purpose flour and garlic powder to help the outside crisp up in the frying pan. Gluten free flour can also be used.
- Butter and olive oil – Both are used to pan-fry the chicken.
What is chicken piccata sauce made of?
The best chicken piccata recipes are always made with a sauce that features lemon, butter, and capers. It comes together so easily using a few basic ingredients:
- Capers – Just think of capers as tiny olives. They belong to the same family and have similar briny, salty flavors. Their punchiness really makes this sauce stand out.
- Lemon – You need fresh lemon juice.
- Butter – Melted unsalted butter is a must in any piccata sauce recipe, but you can use olive oil in a pinch.
- Dry white wine – Go with a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. If you would rather keep the piccata sauce alcohol-free, replace the wine with more chicken broth.
- Chicken broth – The savory and salty flavors in chicken broth really round out this sauce.
How to make chicken piccata with lemon caper sauce
- Prepare and dredge the chicken: Thinly slice the chicken breasts diagonally into 4 to 6 pieces diagonally. Pound the chicken pieces with a meat mallet into 1/4 inch thickness. Mix the flour and garlic powder together on a plate, then toss the chicken in the mixture.
- Cook the chicken: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the flour-coated chicken pieces and cook until they’re brown all over. Set the cooked chicken aside on a plate.
- Make the lemon caper sauce: Add the butter, garlic, and capers to the same pan. Saute until the garlic is fragrant, then add the wine, broth, lemon juice, salt and remaining butter. Let the sauce simmer until it reduces.
- Mix everything together: Place the chicken back into the pan with the sauce. Let the chicken heat through, then serve with extra sauce, sliced lemons, and parsley on top. Enjoy!
I recommend serving your easy chicken piccata with a few more Italian-inspired dishes, like mozzarella arancini, shaved zucchini salad, burrata salad, or radicchio Caesar salad on the side. The fried chicken and sauce are great on their own but get even better when topped over a bed of mashed potatoes, pasta, or creamy polenta.
What type of wine goes with chicken piccata?
White wine is your best bet when looking for a wine pairing for chicken piccata. The dish is bright, acidic, buttery, and rich, which means you’ll need a dry and acidic wine to cut through those complex flavors. Any of these options will do:
- Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio are great choices and are guaranteed to pair well because they’re used in the piccata sauce.
- The high acidity in a Sauvignon Blanc will also pair really well.
- For the red wine drinkers, choose a full bodied Rosé.
Store: Store the cooked chicken piccata in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
Freeze: The leftovers freeze really well for up to 3 months when stored in an airtight container. Let them thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Reheat: Pop the leftovers in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, in a skillet on the stove, or in the microwave.
Looking for more easy chicken recipes?
- Vinegar Chicken with Crush Olives and Capers
- One-Pot Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo
- Creamy Garlic Tuscan Chicken
- Homemade Chicken Pot Pies
Did you try this Easy Chicken Piccata recipe? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below and giving this recipe a rating! Don’t forget to take a picture tag me on Instagram or use #lenaskitchenblog to be featured in my stories! I love seeing what you come up with!
Easy Chicken Piccata
Lemon Caper Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 ½ tablespoons capers drained
- ¼ cup dry white wine like chardonnay or pinot grigio or add more stock
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 medium lemon juiced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
- 1 medium lemon thinly sliced
- 1 ½ tablespoons flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
- Prep the chicken: Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the breast into 4-6 pieces diagonally (you want ½ inch thick pieces). Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken pieces out flat to 1/4 inch thickness. Season the chicken with kosher salt on both sides.
- Dredging: Combine the flour and garlic powder on a large plate. Set aside. Dredge each chicken piece and tap off any excess flour. (Throw away the flour when finished.)
- Cook the chicken: In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter set over medium-high until the butter has melted. Working in 2 batches, add the chicken and brown on both sides for about 2 minutes per side. Set the chicken aside on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Make the sauce: Using a paper towel, carefully wipe the pan out after cooking the chicken, leaving some of the browned bits for flavor. Add 2 tablespoons of butter, garlic, and capers, saute on medium-low heat for 1 minute. Add wine and scrape any browned bits off. Add in the stock, lemon juice, salt, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook on medium heat uncovered for 5 minutes until the sauce is reduced.
- Finishing touches: Add the chicken and any juices from the plate into the pan with the sauce, cook on low heat to heat the chicken back up, about 3-4 minutes. Spoon the sauce on the chicken. Remove from heat, add sliced lemons and sprinkle with parsley.
- Serving: Transfer the chicken to a platter. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken. Serve over mashed potatoes, pasta, or with a side salad and veggies.