If you think that chicken is one of the most boring things to have for dinner, you are in for a surprise! Bursting with zesty lemon, sharp capers and the silky butter sauce, Classic Chicken Piccata with Parsley and Capers is the answer to your cravings for flavour! A one-pan dish that is inexpensive to make, quick enough for a weeknight dinner and goes equally well with rice, potatoes or a simple green salad, this is our go-to recipe when our tastebuds are in need of a good old Italian feast!
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Inspired By Friends
Wildly popular across the US, Chicken Piccata is one of those dishes that we have been having for years without knowing that it is actually an Italian classic. As a matter of fact, we have been referring to this meal as Chicken with Caper butter and, silly me, I always thought it was my own creation! Little did I know, that Chicken Piccata is almost exactly what we eat at least once a month!
What inspired me to share this recipe with you was… well… the best sitcom of all times – FRIENDS!
Rachel: “Why don’t you wanna see Janice?”
Chandler: “Okay, last night at dinner, when the meals came, she put half her chicken piccata on my plate and took my tomatoes.”
What is Chicken Piccata?
Piccata is an Italian dish, that is originally made with veal. However, a version of it, using chicken has become a more popular dish enjoyed around the world. Meat or poultry cutlets are traditionally covered with flour, fried in a pan and then covers in a lemony stock-based sauce. Variations of the sauce often include capers, fresh herbs and white wine.
What Ingredients Will You Need?
Is Chicken Piccata Breaded?
Chicken Piccata with a wildly popular dish and, just like with everything else, there are numerous versions of the recipe. I have seen and tried, recipes that use breaded chicken. However, I recommend simply rolling your chicken in seasoned flour only, and here’s why.
Crispy breadcrumb coating on a chicken is a wonderful thing, but the beauty of the chicken piccata is covering the chicken breasts in a lemony sauce. Once you’ve done that, your breaded chicken will start going soggy and lose all the crispy exterior. We suggest sticking to a simple flour coating, that helps keep the chicken moist whilst frying, as well as thickens the sauce.
Chicken Piccata With or Without Wine?
We hardly ever use wine in this Classic Chicken Piccata recipe, because the lemon juice and capers add so much flavour that this recipe doesn’t leave anything to be desired. BUT… If you have some leftover dry white wine, it is a wonderful addition to the sauce.
What we suggest doing is replacing half of the stock with dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pecorino, and the cooking as per the recipe method.
Tips for the Best Lemon Caper Sauce:
- Chop the onion and garlic very finely: the sauce for Classic Chicken Piccata should not be chunky. If you chop (or ever mince) onion and garlic very finely, they will almost disintegrate whilst cooking and create a silky smooth sauce.
- Use small capers. Capers are bursting with sharp vinegary flavour, so you ideally want to use small little pearls that make into each bite and not overpower other flavours. Our favourite varieties of capers are surfines and capucines.
- Use unwaxed lemons, and add the zest at the end of cooking, otherwise, your sauce will be overly bitter.
How to Make Classic Chicken Piccata?
Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally, so that you have two thin flat pieces.
Mix the flour with a generous pinch of salt and pepper on a large plate. Roll the chicken pieces in flour to cover.
Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken (you may need to work in batches) and cook for 3-4 minutes (depending on the thickness) on each side until cooked through. Place the cooked chicken on a plate, cover and set aside whilst you make the lemon caper sauce.
Add the finely chopped onion to the pan used for chicken and fry on low heat for 4-5 minutes, until softened, but not browned (add a drop of oil if needed). Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
Pour in the hot stock, increase the heat and let it bubble for 5 minutes until reduced by about half.
Reduce the heat to low again and add the butter, capers, 1 tbsp of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Wait for the butter to melt, then add the cooked chicken to the sauce cover for the chicken to warm up for a minute. Stir in the lemon zest.
Scatter the parsley all over and garnish with lemon slices!
What To Serve Chicken Piccata With?
We think that this Italian Classic goes equally well with white rice, couscous and mashed potatoes! As for some vegetable sides, we recommend serving Classic Chicken Piccata with:
Other Chicken Dinner Recipes
Looking for other ways to turn chicken breasts into a fantastic meal? We have you covered. Some of our most cherished chicken recipes are below:
Classic Chicken Piccata with Parsley and Capers
- 2 chicken breasts approx. 350g
- 100 g plain flour
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 small brown onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 100 ml chicken stock hot
- 1 lemon
- 35 g capers
- 10 g parsley finely chopped
- Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally, so than you have two thin flat pieces.
- Mix the flour with a generous pinch of salt and pepper on a large plate. Roll the chicken pieces in flour to cover.
- Heat oil in a large non-stick flying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken (you may need to work in batches) and cook 3-4 minutes (depending on thickness on each side until cooked through. Place the cooked chicken on a plate, cover and set aside whilst you make the lemon caper sauce.
- Add the finely chopped onion to the pan used for chicken and fry on low heat for 4-5 minutes, until softened, but not browned (add a drop of oil if needed). Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Pour in the hot stock, increase the heat and let it bubble for 5 minutes until reduced by about half.
- Reduce the heat to low again and add the butter, capers, 1 tbsp of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Wait for the butter to melt, then add the cooked chicken to the sauce cover for the chicken to warm up for a minute. Stir in the lemon zest.
- Scatter the parsley all over and garnish with lemon slices. We love Chicken Piccata with rice or creamy mashed potato.