This is an easy and delicious chicken piccata recipe made with pan-seared chicken tossed in a simple piccata sauce consisting of white wine, chicken broth, capers, fresh lemon juice, butter, and garlic. It’s a tangy, buttery, garlicky, dish best served over penne or thin spaghetti or with veggies for a healthier twist. Better yet, this recipe is weeknight-friendly and can be on the table in under 30 minutes.
Chicken piccata is best served over thin spaghetti or penne pasta drizzled with a little olive oil and some extra piccata sauce. The pasta soaks up the extra butter, garlic, and lemon and makes for the perfect companion for this recipe. If you don’t want to serve it with pasta, opt for my roasted lemon and parmesan broccoli.
Tips for Making Chicken Piccata
Piccata sauce is easy to make if you follow the correct steps. It’s as simple as searing thinly sliced chicken breast in a skillet or pan, transferring it to a plate, and simmering your sauce in the same pan until slightly thickened and almost creamy. The whole process from start to finish only takes about 10-15 minutes.
- Always use thinly sliced chicken breast. This is the most important item on this list. Opt for pre-prepared thinly sliced chicken breast or butterfly a standard breast, rendering two equal 1/2 inch thick slices. This helps the chicken cook quickly and keeps it tender and juicy. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temp of the chicken is 165°F.
- Dredging the chicken in flour beforehand is a must. The flour helps create a thin crust and a little extra texture. It also helps the chicken better soak up the piccata sauce.
- Picatta sauce should be slightly thick. The simmered/reduced chicken broth, melted butter, and residual flour in the pan helps to thicken the sauce to be slightly creamy and hazy. Without the added butter, you won’t achieve the same viscosity. If the sauce is still runny, add a little more butter or a pinch of flour and continue to simmer until thickened.
- I use white wine and chicken broth as the sauce base. Most recipes call for water but wine adds more flavor and has beautiful citrusy notes. Look for dry white wines such as sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio. If you don’t have chicken broth, just use the wine, it will still work out!
- Add extra water to the pan if the sauce gets too thick. If the piccata sauce starts to dry out and gets too thick, a few tablespoons of water will help thin it out.
- Use a skillet or nonstick pan for best results. A larger pan works best if cooking for larger crowds, or you can cook the chicken in batches since it should cook rather quickly if properly prepared.
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Pan-seared chicken tossed in a simple piccata sauce consisting of white wine, chicken broth, capers, fresh lemon juice, butter, and garlic.
- 2–3 8-ounce chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise into equal halves (target 1/2 inch thick)
- ½ cup dry white wine (pinot or sauvignon blanc)
- ½ cup chicken broth (you can omit if you don’t have any)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2–3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 lemons (juice from 1 lemon plus slices for garnish)
- 2–3 tablespoons of capers
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Serve over optional pasta of choice (penne or thin spaghetti)
- Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. Place flour on a plate and dredge chicken in the flour until completely coated.
- Heat oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a sizzle.
- Arrange the chicken in the pan and sear undisturbed for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden (thicker chicken will take longer). Remove the chicken from the pan and place it on a clean plate.
- Reduce heat to low and let pan cool for a few minutes. Add fresh lemon juice and minced garlic. Sauté about 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add capers and wine. Simmer for 3 minutes or until the liquid is slightly reduced.
- Add chicken broth and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and chopped parsley. Simmer until slightly thickened and butter emulsifies (If too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of water).
- Return chicken to pan, flipping to coat with piccata sauce Let chicken warm up for 2-3 minutes. Serve with lemon slices over pasta tossed in olive oil or with vegetables. I like to drizzle chicken and pasta with additional piccata sauce for added flavor.
If you don’t have wine, just replace it with water. I’ve also made this recipe with wine alone and no water/broth.
The cook times in this recipe assumes chicken is no thicker than 1/2 inch thick at it’s thickest part. Any thicker and the chicken may take longer to cook. Thinner chicken cooks faster and tastes better. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure internal temp of chicken is 165°F.
- Serving Size: 1/2 chicken breast
- Calories: 328
- Sugar: 0.4g
- Sodium: 591mg
- Fat: 14.4g
- Saturated Fat: 6.1g
- Carbohydrates: 9.9g
- Fiber: 0.5g
- Protein: 34.6g
- Cholesterol: 104mg
Keywords: chicken piccata. easy chicken piccata, chicken piccata with lemon butter capers