Classic Lemon Chicken Piccata, an impressive yet simple Italian classic recipe, makes dinner sorted in just 15 minutes!


Piccata is an Italian word that means “sharp/spicy in flavour”, and comes from the French word piqué (sharp, as in “piquant”).

The Italian piccata is made of sliced meat coated in flour, stir-fried and served with a sauce made from the pan drippings with added lemon, capers, wine, shallots and extra butter.

Although in Italy the most famous version is veal piccata (or swordfish piccata in the south of Italy), in the US the most popular variation is chicken piccata, and they are all incredibly tasty.

What’s The Difference Between Chicken Piccata and Chicken Francese

Chicken piccata and chicken Francese (or French) are very similar dishes.

The main difference between the two recipes is that the chicken Francese calls for eggs too. So, the chicken is first dipped into an egg mixture and then dipped into flour.

How To Make Classic Lemon Chicken Piccata

This lemon chicken piccata recipe couldn’t be easier, all you need is 15 minutes and a bunch of simple ingredients:

  • chicken breast 
  • flour
  • butter
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • lemon
  • capers
  • wine
  • shallot
  • fresh parsley or thyme leaves

Chicken piccata in a large cast iron skillet with sauce, topped with lemon slices and thyme leaves, grey napkin underneath the skillet

You can use skinless, boneless chicken breasts or store-bought chicken cutlets. If you can’t find cutlets at your grocery store, simply make your own by slicing the chicken breast in half, lengthwise.

Don’t worry if the slices are not perfectly sized, they will still cook evenly.

Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper then dredge the meat through the flour.

The chicken is then pan-fried on both sides in butter and olive oil until perfectly golden.

Once the chicken is almost cooked through, keep it aside in a warm place and get back to the skillet to prepare the sauce.

Add lemon juice, shallots, white wine ( you can also use chicken broth) and capers, and remember to scrape well all those delicious brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. That’s where all the flavour is!

At this point, add the chicken back to the pan and gently simmer all ingredients for about 4 mins, then transfer the chicken to a serving plate. 

Thicken the sauce for one more minute and add a little butter to give it a shiny, silky texture.  

Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with parsley or thyme leaves and you’re good to go!

Chicken piccata in a large skillet with sauce, topped with lemon slices and thyme leaves

What Side Dishes and Vegetables Go With Chicken Piccata?

Classic chicken piccata is a versatile main course that can be easily served with loads of different vegetables or a simple green salad.

Some favourite side dishes to serve chicken piccata with include:

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook! Looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!

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5 from 1 vote

Classic Lemon Chicken Piccata (Ready in 15 Min!)

Chicken Piccata, an impressive yet simple Italian recipe, makes dinner sorted in just 15 min!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: chicken, easy, italian, lemon, main, quick
Servings: 4
Author: The Petite Cook

Ingredients

  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts (or chicken cutlets)
  • 4 tbsp all purpose flour for dredging
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 60 ml dry white wine or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp capers well washed
  • 4 lemon slices
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • a handful of fresh parsley or thyme chopped
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Pound the chicken breasts with a meat tenderiser, or use chicken cutlets.
  • Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Dredge them in flour and shake off excess.
  • In a large skillet melt half of the butter with the extra-virgin olive oil, over medium heat.
  • Add the chicken slices to the skillet and cook for about 3 to 4 minute per side until golden. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside in a warm place.
  • Adjust the heat to very low. Add lemon juice, chicken stock or wine, capers, lemon slices and shallots, and scrape well up the brown bits from the pan.
  • Return the skillet to medium heat and bring to a boil. Season to taste, add the chicken back to the skillet and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken and place into a serving plate. Add the remaining butter to the sauce and whisk for about a minute until it has a nice, silky texture.
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken and garnish with parsley or fresh thyme leaves. Season with freshly-cracked black pepper and serve.
Did you try this recipe? Tag @thepetitecook or use the hashtag #thepetitecook - Looking at your pictures makes my day!

This post was originally published in February 2015 and updated with more info.

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