Classic Chicken Piccata

By • February 6, 2014 • 60 Comments

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Author Notes: An easy dish to prepare, this chicken piccata still makes a presentation elegant enough for company.Linda Johnson

Food52 Review: The flavor of this recipe was absolutely delicious, with a tart pucker from all the lemon and capers that's balanced by a last-minute addition of butter and the fresh brightness of parsley. The shallots get melty as they cook down, making for a sauce that's perfect on its own with the angel hair and even better when you add the chicken.The Editors

Serves 6

  • 2 large lemons
  • 6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded until 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • Couscous or angel hair pasta, for serving
  1. Cut one lemon in half lengthwise. Trim the ends from one half and cut across into thin slices about 1/8 inch thick; set aside. Juice the remaining half and whole lemon to obtain about 1/4 cup juice; set aside.
  2. Season both sides of the chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper. Place flour into a shallow dish or pan. Coat each breast with flour, and shake to remove excess.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Cook half the batch in the skillet without moving them until lightly browned on the first side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Turn and cook until the second side is lightly browned, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate kept warm in the oven, or cover with aluminum foil. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Add remaining chicken pieces and repeat. Add cooked chicken to previous batch and keep warm in 200 degree oven.
  4. Using the pan in which you cooked the chicken, sauté the shallots in the oil and browned bits remaining in the pan. Once shallots become translucent, add the chicken broth and lemon slices. Allow to cook until lemon slices are well-softened.
  5. Add the capers and lemon juice, and allow to reduce to concentrate flavors. Remove pan from heat and swirl in the butter until it melts and thickens the sauce. Swirl in the parsley. Spoon over chicken and serve immediately over a bed of couscous or angel hair pasta.
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Comments (60) Questions (0)

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17 days ago Mel P

Made this 2 nights ago and it was delicious! I think my lemon was extra juicy so it came out a little tart but excellent overall.

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17 days ago Rebecca Chu

My husband and I have made this dish so many times and we love it. A new family favourite in the UK

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21 days ago Mary Robbins

this+was+the+worst+nasty+tasting+Chicken+Piccata+I+have+ever+made.++The+Shallots+ruined+the+dish.++They+added+to+much+sweetness.+The+capers+and+lemon+add+a+pungent+taste,+as+piccata+should+be,+then+the+chicken+stock+and+shallots,+OMG.+We+didn't+even+finish+it,+it+went+down+the+disposal,++I+will+stick+to+my+good+old+standby.++A+big+waste+of+my+time+after+I+had+worked+8+hrs.

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21 days ago frog

I see the problem, you +spent+too+much+time+on+it.

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2 months ago Starr O'Quinn

Agree, Tom. Some comments seemed more personal than useful imputs of lessons learned. Thank you, Tom. And, thank you Linda Johnson for your recipe post.

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3 months ago Tom Salamone

Ouch. Let's not start to sound like Congress. Civility should, no must rule.

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3 months ago Louis Tufano

I am so sorry I don"t come up to your high standards.

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3 months ago fisher6188

@Lacey. It is site, not sight. If you are going to be critical of others, please be perfect yourself. And your syntax is awful. Have you never taken an English class?

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3 months ago Gregg

Actually yes, however I speak, write & read 3 languages and bound to make a mistake or two! BTW, how many are you fluent in?

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3 months ago Louis Tufano

I am very sorry we do not come up to your high standards give us some of your higher thoughts on cooking and maybe we will follow your blog instead

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3 months ago Lacey

I don't intend to be critical or insensitive but are a lot of the commenters on this sight just a little dim? Have they never cooked or lived in a cave most of their lives?

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3 months ago Jackie Harrigan

the place where my husband is made chicken piccata with couscous and we both liked it so i told him that i would look up the recipe, get the ingredients and make it for him at home and bring it to him.

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4 months ago Lucy

Made for dinner tonight...amazing. Husband couldn't get enough!

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4 months ago Ashley

What can I use instead of butter for the sauce?

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4 months ago Angela

This is definitely the recipe from America's Test Kitchen. I think you need to show credit where credit is do.

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4 months ago Gregg

You do realize that Italians would never serve pasta along side meat of any kind! While the recipe is authentic, just looking at that wad of pasta on the plate next
to the chicken is typical American, as is spaghetti and meatballs! Try something different, pasta, then meat and finally a great salad at the end! Also great for
your digestive system!

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2 months ago Truly Scrumptious

Wow.

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4 months ago Sheryl Weinbaum

Sounds yummy

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4 months ago Kathy

If you choose not to pound the breasts, should you finish cooking the chicken in the oven? What temp and how long? Sounds wonderful--Thanks!

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4 months ago Linda Johnson

Personally, I prefer thicker, juicier chunks of chicken, so I don't pound them; I still use the skillet and they cook up just fine. Use a slightly lower flame so that the thicker breasts have an opportunity to cook through without burning the exterior.

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4 months ago Della Terra

Love lemon. Love, love, love this.

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5 months ago fisher6188

Louis, they publish in the news part of Yahoo.com Go there and you will find them.

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5 months ago Louis Tufano

for some reason i do not recieve food 52 much but every time i do i print out so many it is the best.

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5 months ago fisher6188

I have been making chicken piccata for years. I had it once in a restaurant and they added artichokes to the sauce. I have been doing that ever since. I use canned (drained) or frozen. Not the marinated ones.