Chicken Piccata is a classic Italian-American dish comprised of thinly sliced and floured chicken breasts in a white wine, lemon and caper sauce. Traditionally it is served over a bed of angel pasta.
Classic Chicken Piccata is an easy Italian recipe that comes together in less than 3o minutes and explodes with flavors of lemon, caper and shallot. Delicious!
Piccata is actually a method of cooking opposed to the name of a dish. Meat, butterflied or pounded thin, dredged in flour and then fried in butter. Delicious!
In Italy, they actually serve very little chicken and the dish is usually prepared with veal. While in the states, you see much less veal and a lot more chicken. We spent several weeks in Italy and didn’t see it on any menus, which goes to show you this is much more an at-home dish versus restaurant.
The term “piccata” is an Italian word, the feminine form of the word piccato, meaning “larded”. It is also spelled “pichotta.”
In the states, piccata sauce starts with a base of butter and lemon, but then can include white wine or chicken broth. I prefer white wine for flavor.
Shallots, garlic, onions and of course, capers, are also common items added. I prefer mine with shallots, as they typically have a milder onion flavor and extra briny, salty capers. I also add chopped flat leaf parsley for a pop of color.
Chicken Piccata comes together easily and quickly, making it perfect for an easy weeknight meal, but has enough flavor for a dinner party. I prepare mine in a cast iron skillet so after the sauce and chicken come together I can transfer it to a warm oven to sit until I am ready to serve.
Serve chicken piccata with any sort of pasta you prefer, although it is typically served with a capellini or angel hair here in the states. The shape of pasta is important to pair with the correct sauce.
Thinner sauces, like a piccata sauce, don’t need nooks and crannies or a hearty pasta to latch onto. So while you can use any pasta you prefer, it coats well with a thinner, long noodle. Some people even use rice!
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- 4 chicken breasts , boneless and skinless
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 1/2 tablespoons butter , divided
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , divided
- 2 shallots , thinly cut
- 4 cloves garlic , thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth , divided
- 2 lemons , cut into slices
- 2 tablespoons capers , drained
- 3 tablespoons Italian parsley , roughly chopped
- 4 cups pasta of choice , cooked
- Place each piece of chicken on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and pound to 1/2 inch or less thickness using a meat mallet.
- Season both sides of the chicken breast with fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Place flour in a shallow dish or pie plate. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour and shake off excess.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan, working in batches, sauté 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add shallots, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, cooking for 1 minute.
- Add wine, bringing to a low simmer and scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until liquid reduces by half.
- Add broth to pan bringing back to a low simmer. Cook until reduced by half, approximately 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, lemon slices, capers and parsley.
- Add chicken back to pan, spoon sauce over pieces and allowing to rewarm.
- Serve over cooked pasta.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!