Classic Chicken Piccata

By • February 6, 2014 • 48 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.
Jump to Comments (48)

Comments (48) Questions (0)


7 days 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.


25 days ago Lucy

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


about 1 month ago Ashley

What can I use instead of butter for the sauce?


about 1 month ago Angela

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


about 1 month 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!


about 1 month ago Sheryl Weinbaum

Sounds yummy


about 1 month 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!


about 1 month 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.


about 1 month ago Della Terra

Love lemon. Love, love, love this.


about 1 month ago fisher6188

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


about 1 month 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.


about 1 month 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.


3 months ago Jen

Yum! New family favorite of the "new" dishes I have made lately. Was a little nervous about the chicken being done since I didn't pound them out so I bumped up oven temp to 350 the last 10 minutes or so of warming. Chicken was perfect. We have a family of 3. COuld have easily done just 3 breasts instead of the 6 I think.


6 months ago Anna Walsh

I made this dish last Sat for dinner party. Everybody loved it. Thanks for such great recipe for boring chicken.


8 months ago Dona

I made this last night, loved it!


8 months ago Margo

I made this last night. Very good recipe. I really enjoyed this. 10/10


8 months ago Louis Tufano

I have shared this recipe with many of my friends and they are happy i did


8 months ago Linda Johnson

Cathy you're right; that's why this recipe calls for a heavy-bottomed pan but doesn't specify cast iron. I use a heavy All-Clad stainless steel pan - works like a charm every time and cleans up easily.


3 months ago Vanessa Brogsdale

Thank you to Linda Johnson, for clarifying, and to Cathy Gordon, for being more specific! As I read the recipe instructions, I was hoping that my All-Clad saute pan was heavy enough, and wondering if I needed something as heavy as iron. Since I no longer own an iron pan. It certainly is okay to cook acidic foods in an iron pan so long as you wait until your pan is well-seasoned, thereby avoiding the metallic taste of highly acidic foods.


8 months ago Cathy Gordon

I would suggest avoiding cast iron for making the sauce that amount of acid in the lemon will get muddled when cooked in cast iron.


9 months ago sevenfaces

I made this with unflattened chicken thighs; fried in the pan and finished in the oven. Juicy and delicious! The piccata sauce was great over fluffy cous cous, crumbled feta and steamed cauliflower. A new favourite for me!


10 months ago Tom Salamone

Linda: This is the first time I made chicken piccata. Made it as a late dinner as my wife is working on a project. Forgot the parsley and the lemon slices, had to sub onion for shallot and only had bow tie pasta, but it worked. It actually tasted very good. My wife got a kick out of my attempt and I ended up quite proud. So, thank you very much for presenting this recipe in a manner I could (1) follow and (2) produce good results. Be well, Tom