Hmm, Chicken Piccata has that rich lemon butter sauce with the brininess of the capers with the accent of garlic makes these chicken breasts come alive. I must admit, I do not cook chicken that often. I find it to be boring of sorts and can go rather dry in a quick minute if not careful.
This, however, is one of my very favorite dishes to serve the family because it offers a tremendous amount of flavor with very few ingredients. Most of which are on hand. The best part is that when all is said and done, it is also a very economical dinner to make for a family and these days that is saying a lot with food prices going through the roof!
This chicken is so juicy and so tender, you can cut it with a fork. Serve it with linguini or your favorite pasta tossed in butter and parmesan to complete this meal.
What Is Chicken Piccata?
So you grew up eating chicken piccata if you were lucky at home, especially if you were Italian. For the rest of us, it was a favorite on the menu at the Olive Garden trips right after the breadsticks!
It may surprise you to know that Chicken Piccata isn’t really a Italian known dish from the “old country” thing. It actually was likely an American-Italian creation twist off of a dish called Scaloppine. Scaloppine which means “thin slices of meat that is coated with flour and fried” and then served in a classic lemon butter sauce which is common way to showcase fried meat. The twist really comes into play with the addition of capers at some point which adds that brininess and brings the dish to new heights.
Let’s take a quick look at these natural ingredients you need to whip up this Chicken Piccata!
- 2 large, boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil , divided
- 4 garlic cloves, minced and mashed
- 1/3 cup of dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp drained capers, coarsely chopped
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 4 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Chopped parsley for serving.
How To Make Chicken Piccata
First, work on getting the right sized chicken cutlets, about 1/2 inch thick is desired. Take a piece of Saran Wrap and fold it over the chicken, pound them with a mallet or the palm of your hand to flatten them out.
Take each chicken cutlet and lightly flour each of the chicken cutlets, until well coated.
Heating oil in the pan, add your chicken cutlets making it a point not to overcrowd your pan. Do not mess with the chicken cutlets! Leave them in place for a good 2 minutes on the first side, and 45 seconds or so on the second. You want each cutlet to be golden brown. When all of the cutlets are browned, move them to a plate and set them aside.
Now, the sauce! To a Tablespoon of oil, add the garlic on a gentle heat to be sure that the garlic flavors and does not burn. After 3 minutes or so, deglaze the pan by adding in wine and the capers. While you are awaiting the wine to cook off, use a wooden spoon to gently release all of the chicken parts on the bottom of the pan.
When the wine is almost gone, add the 1/2 cup of chicken stock, and the cold butter pieces. Move the pan around pretty aggressively to get the liquid to form an emulsion with the butter. Be patient, this can take a couple of minutes to accomplish.
Return the cooked chicken cutlets to the pan to finish the cooking and to soak up that wonderful sauce. The sauce will also start to thicken too. After a few minutes, remove from the heat and add in the lemon juice and add salt to taste. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve!
Chef Tips & Tricks
The goal of the chicken cutlet is to be about 1/2 inch in thickness. Today’s chicken breasts today are seriously crazy big. If you have a thick chicken breast, then carefully cut it half the entire with of the breast. Then if still needed to pound the chicken to the desired depth, you will have less work to do. This also increases the yield of the chicken cutlets which is an extra bonus!
Lightly floured and then pan-fried chicken breasts that have been pounded thin to cook quickly. Be sure you shake off the extra flour. The crispy flour bits leftover in the pan will also help give the sauce some body to it but we do not want a lumpy sauce.
Capers are traditionally found in the pickle aisle of your favorite grocery store. I always keep a jar in the pantry. Most recipes do not use that much and they keep well in the refrigerator for some time. This is an ingredient that is always good to have on hand because they add just a big flavor to the recipe.
If you are looking for other unique main dishes centered on whole ingredients to consider for tonight’s dinner, then head over to my other Italian dishes, such as Easy Marinara Pasta, Authentic Italian Lasagna, Best Vegan Lasagna or Pesto Basil Pasta!
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