Easy Chicken Piccata

Easy chicken piccata recipe

Chicken piccata is a fantastic and classic Italian chicken dish. Even more importantly, it is relatively easy and if you can make this, you can make several similar dishes as well. One of the other great attributes is you do not have to be exact in your measurements. All measurements listed below are really just estimates. You can use more lemon for a zestier flavor or more butter for a more savory dish. It is great for just two and also easy to make for a crowd. Melissa has made this several times for groups of 20-40 people.

Servings: 6

Difficulty: Moderate

Time: Prep Time – depends on your cutlets and quantity Cook Time: for 6 – 45 minutes

Ingredients:

6 – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (Two choices: “The easy way” – buy cutlets that are already sliced thin; “advanced” – buy a whole breast and slice thinly in half (lengthwise) and pound yourself. This makes the chicken more tender and is generally less expensive, but it is more time consuming and messier. Check out our video on how)
1 1/2 cups of Flour
Salt and Pepper to season chicken
1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3T Butter
1 1/2 cup White Wine (yes, it should be nice enough that you would drink it but don’t break the bank. We always like a bottle that we can enjoy the rest while preparing the meal)
1/4 cup of Capers
2 lemons
3 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

How to make easy chicken piccata:

1. Prepare the chicken breasts

Heat about 1/2 cup of Olive Oil in a skillet (I ususally use a non-stick skillet for this) over medium heat.
While waiting for the oil to come to temperature, salt and pepper your chicken breasts. Lightly dredge the chicken in flour and shake off any excess. Make sure the entire breast is lightly coated.

Chicken piccata

2. Saute the chicken breasts

Once the oil is hot (you’ll know when you sprinkle a pinch of flour in the pan and it bubbles), gently place the chicken breasts in the skillet. Always place anything in hot oil by setting it away from you to avoid any hot oil spattering on your toes. Do not overcrowd the pan.

Chicken piccata

Cook the chicken until lightly golden on one side and then turn. You should only need to turn each piece once. Cook on the 2nd side until barely cooked through. Depending on the heat of your stove and the thickness of the cutlet, it should be about 4 minutes per side but it does vary. If the breast is slightly undercooked, that is ok as this will be going into the oven at the end. When cooked through, remove and let drain for a minute on some paper towels.

Repeat with remaining chicken until all are complete. Transfer the chicken into an oven safe baking dish of your choice. You will serve directly from here so if you are worried about what your guests think of you, pick a pretty dish. I generally use just a simple glass pyrex dish.

3. Make the pan sauce for the chicken

Now for the best part – the sauce. Don’t get too intimidated by the word “sauce”. You won’t be stirring or worrying about lumps. This one is actually very forgiving. However, you may want to pause for a moment and drink some of that wine! While you enjoy the wine, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

When you are ready, remove most of the leftover olive oil with a paper towel. You’ll want to leave about 3-4 tablespoons. Don’t worry about removing any brown bits leftover from the chicken, this is what helps add a lot of flavor. Over medium heat, add 1T of flour and stir in until well incorporated with the oil and brown bits. Turn the stove off if working over gas and pour in the white wine. Return the pan to a burner on high and bring to a boil. Let boil until reduced by about half. Add the capers and the juice of one lemon. I also put the two leftover halves of lemon directly in the pan to extract more flavor. Let cook for about 2 minutes more and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. If it tastes good, turn off the heat and add the butter. Stir until melted. Remove the lemon halves and squeeze out the remaining juice (be careful not to burn yourself). Pour the sauce over the chicken.

4. Garnish the Piccata

If you want to make this pretty, slice the second lemon into thin rounds. Remove the seeds and garnish each chicken breast with a slice of the lemon. Then garnish with some chopped parsley. If doing for a crowd, do all of this before they arrive and save yourself some time to clean up the mess and get yourself dressed. Once you are ready and guests are ready,continue to baking the dish.

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Place in the oven and let cook for about 10-15 minutes if you are continuing immediately and the dish is already warm. If using a prepared dish that is already cooled, then cook for about 25 minutes or until warmed through.

5. Sides for Chicken Piccata

I always like this dish with some pasta (orzo is fantastic) and steamed broccoli as the buttery, lemony sauce goes well with both. Just garnish with a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese and chopped flat leaf parsley if you have it and you are ready to eat!

5 comments

  1. […] Using your pounder, gently pound the chicken to equal thickness. Now you are ready for recipes like chicken piccata, marsala, parmesan and saltimbocca, just to name a […]

  2. Teresa says:

    I have a question. This recipes says 20-40 people, however, how many does this recipe serve with only 6 chicken breasts? I need to make it for 20-25. Would you recommend I double, triple this recipe?

    Could you please email me?

    Thank you,
    Teresa

    • Thanks Teresa. I will email you shortly to help clarify.

    • For 25 people, here are my recommendations:
      If you do store bought chicken cutlets, you’ll want at least 1 per person and maybe a few extras as some cutlets are small and some of your guests may want seconds. I usually just think through who these folks are. When I cook at my church for the retirees, they eat small portions, my family is another story!

      If you make your own cutlets, the chicken breasts are usually fairly large so cutting them in half and pounding them out will make them plenty large enough. So you’ll need 1 chicken breast for 2 cutlets and 2 people. This is more time consuming but is worth it in taste for a small crowd. For a larger crowd, I’d probably go for the time saver and by the precut cutlets.

      For the rest of the recipe, for 25 pieces, I’d do the following adjustments:
      1) You won’t want to make the pan sauce in the same pan you sautéed 25 chicken cutlets. I would wipe down the skillet with a paper towel before the last batch and start with a clean skillet. Then you can do your pan sauce there. Just make sure it is large enough to hold the ingredients.
      2) Place about 4T butter in the pan then add 4 T flour and stir
      3) Once the flour is cooked and not yet brown, add the wine (off the burner if over gas). I think you’ll need a whole bottle
      4) Simmer and reduce to half
      5) Add about 1 ¼ cup of capers and some of the juice they come packed in.
      6) Add the juice of about 8 lemons and place 2 halves in the sauce as it will ‘cook’ some and add great flavor
      7) To make sure you have enough sauce, add about 1 – 2 cup of chicken stock
      8) Simmer, taste and add flavors as necessary (salt, pepper, lemons, stock)
      9) Pour over chicken and heat until warmed through.
      10) Garnish how you want. I like to do the thinly sliced lemons and parsley but that will require another 5-6 lemons so you don’t have to do that.

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